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Employee Scheduling Software

Visual Staff Scheduler Pro 14 is the easiest way to assign shifts and manage work schedules.

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Frequently asked questions

These answers to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) will help you optimize Visual Staff Scheduler features.

Schedule Set Up

How far in advance can I schedule?
How many employees can I schedule with VSS?
Can I import my employees to VSS?
Can I modify the schedule, so it works according to my needs?
Do I need to create a separate schedule each week or month?
Can I include additional notes in my schedule?
Does VSS handle split shifts?

Staffing

Can I schedule employees based on their skills and certifications?
Can I schedule my employees based on their seniority?
Can I schedule my employees according to their desired workload?
Will I be able to see if I have enough people scheduled?
Will VSS help me identify employees with overtime hours?
Can I see how many people are scheduled to work a particular shift?
Can VSS help me identify shifts with inadequate coverage?
Can I see how many hours I've scheduled for a specific department?
Will I be able to see a list of available employees?
Can I see how many employees are scheduled at a particular time?
Can I keep track of where my employees are working?

Scheduling Automation

Can I apply specific scheduling patterns and rotations?
Can I assign the same information to a group of employees at once?
Can I copy scheduling information from one employee to another?
Can I set up scheduling reminders?

Creating and Sharing Schedules and Reports

Can I break down employee schedules by location or position?
Can VSS generate personal schedules?
Can I create a cover page for my schedules and reports?
Can I e-mail schedules to my employees?
Can I publish schedules and reports to a web site?
Can I print a time-off report?
Can VSS produce an estimated cost report?
Can I create custom schedules?

Access to Schedule Data

Can I control access to work schedules?
Can I share schedule data with other programs?
Does VSS work with QuickBooks?
Can I track changes made to the schedule?
Can I store employee information in VSS?

Technical Aspects

Does the product come with any learning resources?
Can I contact someone if I have any questions?
What's the difference between the single- and multi-user versions?
Does VSS create back-up files?
What do I need to run VSS?


Schedule Set Up

 

How Far in Advance Can I Schedule?

You can schedule as far into the future as you need. There is no limitation on the schedule starting or ending date, so you can create a schedule file long enough for you to pre-schedule shifts, rotations, holidays and time-off requests well into the future. You will be able to see instantly how shift changes, impact the overall schedule, allowing for conscious decisions regarding approving or rejecting leave time, or making any other schedule changes.

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How Many Employees Can I Schedule with VSS?

VSS allows you to schedule an unlimited number of employees. Each schedule file allows up to 500 employees, with no limit to the number of schedule files that can be created. In addition, you can use dividers to further define departments, locations, and/or positions.

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Can I Import My Employees to VSS?

Yes. VSS can import employees’ name, position, hire date, e-mail address, phone numbers, and other contact information from .csv or text files. Information can be imported into VSS when creating a new schedule, or at any time to add new employees or update existing employee information.

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Can I Modify the Schedule So To Meet My Needs?

Yes. VSS allows you to adjust the software to meet your specific scheduling needs. With VSS, you can define your own shifts; including starting/ending times, breaks, and color codes. You can also change the information displayed on the screen and in reports, or set up any day of the week as the beginning of your work week.

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Do I Need to Create a Separate Schedule Each Week or Month?

No. You do not need to create individual schedule files for different time frames. You can use one schedule file to enter all scheduling assignments and time-off information and print, publish or email schedules for a specific time period or a group of people, using the many built-in functions that do the sorting and filtering for you.

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Can I Include Additional Notes in My Schedule?

Yes. VSS allows you to add special notes and explanations. For example, you can include the location, task, or client information to a shift, or explain time-off as a vacation or sick day.

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Does VSS Handle Split Shifts?

Yes. VSS allows you to schedule up to two non-conflicting shifts per day for each employee.

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Staffing

 

Can I Schedule Employees Based on Their Skills and Certifications?

Yes. With VSS, you are able to schedule staff based on required attributes, such as skills, training, credentials or certifications. By assigning specifically defined skills, and utilizing a skill filter, you will be able to see which employees meet the defined criteria. In addition, setting shift requirements can help determine whether particular shifts are under- or over-scheduled based on skills required at a certain time, or in a specific department or location.

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Will I Be Able to See if I Have Enough People Scheduled?

Yes. With VSS, you can indicate the number people or hours you need scheduled by position, shift, department, or location, and see if you have over-scheduled or under-scheduled based on your requirements. If your staffing level is based upon external variables (i.e. patients, packages, units, etc.), you can use VSS to perform staffing calculations. For example, if you schedule nurses based upon patients per hour, or acuity, VSS will help ensure that you have enough people scheduled to meet your targeted level of care.

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Can I Schedule My Employees Based on Their Seniority?

Yes. With VSS, you are able to schedule staff based on their seniority. You can input your employees' hire dates and sort available staff based on this criteria.

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Will VSS Help Me Identify Employees with Overtime Hours?

Yes. With VSS, you can assign the number of authorized hours your employees can work, and VSS will show all employees and their authorized number of hours compared to the hours already scheduled for the week. You can then quickly determine who has exceeded the number of authorized hours and by what percentage.

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Can I See How Many People are Assigned to Work a Particular Shift?

Yes. VSS can automatically calculate shift coverage and total hours scheduled and display this information in an easy-to-read table at the bottom of the schedule worksheet. You can also see the number of people working a specific shift or the number of employees scheduled time-off.

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Can I Schedule My Employees According to Their Desired Workload?

Yes. VSS gives you ability to enter the number of hours your employees wish to work in a week. At any time, you can view the percentage of completion, which compares desired work hours to the actual hours scheduled.

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Can VSS Help Me Identify Shifts with Inadequate Coverage?

Yes. VSS is designed to help prevent over- or under-staffing. With VSS, you can set shift requirements and easily determine whether those requirements are being met. For example, by defining the number of employees needed for any given shift, VSS can automatically calculate shift coverage. You can see the (+/-) totals if there is an over- or under-staffing situation.

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Can I See How Many Hours I've Scheduled for a Certain Department?

Yes. In addition to viewing the number of people scheduled by position, shift, or explanation (i.e. department, location, job, etc.), you can also track the number of hours scheduled.

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Will I Be Able to See a List of Available Employees?

Yes. VSS can show you a daily list of available employees sorted by name, position, number of hours already scheduled, desired workload, or seniority (hire date). This list is dynamically updated each time you schedule an employee. In addition, you can apply a skill filter to identify employees with the appropriate skill or skill set. This will ensure the right people are scheduled and will help avoid or reduce overtime costs.

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Can I See How Many Employees are Scheduled at a Particular Time?

Yes. VSS gives you an instant view of the number of employees you have scheduled in one-hour, 30-minute or 15-minute increments. You can see your labor distribution (by position, department, etc.) dynamically updated as you make schedule changes and select different days.

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Can I Keep Track of Where My Employees are Working?

Yes. You can use explanations to locations, departments, jobs, etc. when assigning a shift. You can then produce a report for each location, department or job you have scheduled.

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Scheduling Automation

 

Can I Apply Specific Scheduling Patterns and Rotations?

Yes. VSS allows you to define specific scheduling patterns and apply them to one or many employees in a single operation. With VSS, you can automatically copy a schedule rotation, and place it in future dates without having to manually enter this information multiple times.

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Can I Assign the Same Information to a Group of Employees at Once?

Yes. Once you've scheduled an employee, you can assign the same schedule information to many employees. You can copy shifts, explanations, and assignments to multiple persons in one easy step.

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Can I Copy Scheduling Information From One Employee to Another?

Yes. With VSS, you can copy schedule information from one employee to another, or even to a group of employees in one single step. You can select the date ranges and the level of information you want to copy.

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Can I Set Up Scheduling Reminders?

Yes. VSS can help you remember when you have tasks to complete, such as e-mailing schedules, preparing reports, and scheduling time-off requests. You can indicate the number of days prior to the due date you want to be reminded and whether the reminder is one-time or recurring.

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Sharing Schedules and Reports

 

Can I Break Down Employee Schedules by Location or Position?

Yes. With VSS, you can break down employee schedules as needed. This allows you to creat schedules that separate personnel into different groups, such as position, primary responsibility, location, or shift type.

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Can VSS Generate Personal Schedules?

Yes. VSS gives you the flexibility to print customized, individual schedules. You can print 1 to 42 day schedules, or a monthly calendar for any employee or group of employees.

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Can I Create a Cover Page for My Schedules and Reports?

Yes. With VSS, you can add Microsoft® Word documents to any work schedule or report. You can use it to post important schedule notes or company announcements you don’t want your employees to miss.

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Can I E-mail Schedules to My Employees?

Yes. You can e-mail schedules and reports directly from VSS. You can send personal schedules as plain-text message or any schedule or report in a PDF format.

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Can I Publish Schedules and Reports to a Web Site?

Yes. You can publish any schedule or report as a .pdf or .html file and post it to your company network, web site, or intranet. You can also e-mail them to individual employees

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Can I Print a Time-off Report?

Yes. With VSS, you can print a time-off report for any date range. The time-off report lists all of your employees' scheduled time off, plus days they're not scheduled. You can quickly see when an employee has taken vacation, sick, or personal days, and days an employee has not been scheduled.

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Can VSS Produce an Estimated Cost Report?

Yes. VSS can calculate hours scheduled and provide an estimate of labor costs for a given work period.

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Can I Create Custom Schedules?

Yes. VSS offers unbeatable flexibility when it comes to printing schedules and reports. You can run custom reports using just about any combination of schedule information, including shift, job, department or location.

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Access to Schedule Data

 

Can I Control Access to Work Schedules?

Yes. With VSS, you can set up a password to restrict access to your schedule file. With a multi-user version of VSS, you can set passwords for read/write and read-only access.

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Can I Share Schedule Data with Other Programs?

Yes. VSS enables you to automatically export all schedule data. You can set up your export preferences and share data with time and attendance systems, database applications, spreadsheets and reports writers.

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Does VSS Work with QuickBooks?

Yes. Users of QuickBooks Pro/Premier 2003 or Enterprise 2.0 (or newer versions) can import employee names and e-mail addresses into VSS schedule files from a QuickBooks company file. You can use the import feature to update employee information in VSS at any time.

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Can I Track Changes Made to the Schedule?

Yes. VSS gives you the option to track each scheduling session, including date and time, as well as a user's network and computer name. You can also prompt a user to enter session comments prior to closing a schedule, which can be used as an audit trail and to help track schedule changes.

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Can I Store Employee Information in VSS?

Yes. VSS can store e-mail addresses, phone numbers, pager numbers and even employee notes. You can also give your managers and employees access to employee contact information for swapping shifts or to find replacements.

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Technical Aspects

 

Does the Product Come With Any Learning Resources?

Yes. VSS comes with a complete User Guide PDF. VSS also has a comprehensive, built-in Help menu.

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Can I Contact Someone If I Have Any Questions?

Yes. You can contact Technical Support via email at any time, or by phone between 8:00 AM and 5:00 PM, CST, Monday through Friday.

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What's the Difference Between the Single- and Multi-User Versions?

The programs operate similarly, with the multi-user version intended for companies who require more than one person to have access to VSS, or have non-concurrent access to the same schedule file. The multi-user version features read-only and read/write passwords for each schedule, which offers greater security options. Intelligent file locking ensures that two people cannot simultaneously make canges to the same schedule file. In addition, the user always has the most up-to-date schedule, and only people you designate can edit your schedules. Multi-user versions, and their respective licenses, cover users either on single PCs, a network, or any combination thereof.

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Does VSS Create Back-Up Files?

Yes. VSS automatically creates a backup file each time the user saves a schedule file. ABS recommends periodically saving the schedule file to external media or including the schedule files in an existing backup routine.

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What Do I Need to Run VSS?

The minimum software and system configuration you need to run VSS includes:

  • A PC with a Pentium Processor (75+ MHz, and at least 64 MB of memory)
  • A CD-ROM drive
  • A minimum of 120 MB free hard disk space for VSS, plus additional disk space for schedule files
  • A minimum of 128 MB of memory
  • Windows operating system: 2000/XP/Vista/Windows 7

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