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Thursday, October 30, 2014

Tech Tip :The Trades Feature in Aladtec

Using the Trades feature in the Aladtec system allows employees the ability to find someone else to take a shift if they are unable to work. Giving members the ability to trade shifts empowers them to manage their schedule while administrators have an easy to use tracking system at their fingertips. In this article we will examine the options available and discuss how best to configure the system to suit your needs.

 

Configuring Trades

Trades can be configured under the Trades section in the Setup menu. 

There are 2 trade types in the Aladtec System that handle exchanging shifts between members: Swaps & Giveaways. The system can be configured to allow Swaps, Giveaways, both or neither.

Choosing a Trade Type
Swaps: Swapping requires members to offer a shift in return when they accept a shift from another person. Swaps can be configured to restrict what types and times of shifts are exchanged. For example, one configuration option would be the requirement that swapped shifts must be on the same schedule and within the same pay period. 

Giveaways: A giveaway allows members the ability to offer a shift they are scheduled to work to all qualified employees and not receive one in return.

Both: When both Swaps & Giveaways are selected, the member initiating the trade chooses if they would like to receive a shift in return or not by selecting Swap or Giveaway.

Trade Configuration Options
Notifications:  Monitor member trades by setting the option to notify administrators via email and text message when a trade occurs. The notification is sent to the administrator based on the administrator’s personal setting in the ‘My Info’ page.

Trade approval method:  Choose to have trades automatically complete or require an administrator to approve or deny all trades before changes are made to the schedule.

Allow trading of Unpublished shifts:  If members are scheduled for a future date that is unpublished, they can be restricted or allowed to trade the shift.

Swapped Shifts must be repaid within:  Members can be restricted to only trade shifts that occur within the same: pay period, day, month, year, or custom time range.

Swapped shifts must both occur on:  Restrict member to only trade between the same schedule, position or shift time.

Initiating a Trade

 

Step 1 - Offering a Shift:  Members or administrators can initiate a trade from the ‘My Schedule’ or ‘Trades’ page.  It’s most commonly done from the ‘My Schedule’ page so let’s walk through an example of that.

My Schedule Page

Step 2 - Selecting Trade Options:  Click a blue shift and and select ‘Request Trade’.
This displays the ‘Trade Details’ page allowing multiple options listed below.
Trade Details Pop-up
  • Trade Type:  If both swaps and giveaways are enabled, the member may select the appropriate type. If a member does not wish to receive a shift in return, select Giveaway. If Swap is selected, a member must offer a shift back in order to complete the trade.
  • Times:  If the member would like to trade only a portion of the shift, they may specify the times by clicking ‘Change’ next to ‘Times’.
  • Recipients:  If the member would only like to offer a shift to certain individuals, they can select their name from a list by clicking ‘Change’ next to ‘Recipients’.
  • Additional Note for Recipients:  A member can send a note along with the request if additional detail is required.
  • Additional note for Admins:  Members may include a note that only the administrators can see.

Accepting a Trade


Step 1 - Eligible Members are Notified:  Once a trade has been offered, notifications are sent to members based on their messaging options located on their ‘My Info’ page. Member can click a link from the email to access the system and take the shift.

Step 2 - Taking the Shift:  Eligible members can view the trade details and accept a trade by going to their ‘My Schedule’ page, and clicking on the offered trade.


Clicking on a trade from the My Schedule page
Trade request pop-up to take the shift
Step 3 - Taking the Shift if Swaps are Enabled:  If swaps are enabled, recipients need to select a shift to offer back to the member who initiated the trade. You can offer multiple shifts in return by checking the box ‘Offer Additional Shifts for Swap’, this allows the initiator of the swap the ability to choose a shift from those offered.

Trade Request page - Offering a shift in return
Step 4 - Accepting the Offered Shift if Swaps are Enabled:  Once a shift has been offered back to the person who initiated the trade, they will be notified and can click the pending offer from the ‘My Schedule’ page to accept the shift exchange.

My Schedule Page - Accepting a Trade
Confirm Swap - Selecting the shift in return

Finalizing a Trade

 

Approving the Trade (if approval is required):  Trades can be configured to automatically approve or require an administrator to approve or deny the request. Many of the pages in the system allow administrators to process requests; however, most commonly used is the ‘Dashboard’ on the home page. Click on the link shown (screenshot below) in the dashboard to process the request.

Home Page - Processing a trade from the dashboard

Conclusion

 

Activating trades in your system provides members control over their schedule while offering administrators the final say if preferred. Giving your members the responsibility and the capability of managing their own schedule reduces administrative workloads and is one of the greatest benefits of using Aladtec. This saves countless hours with you as the "middle man" fielding phone calls, texts and emails to deal with trades, swaps and giveaways.

If you have any questions on how to make trades work effectively with your system please give us a call at 888-749-5550 or email support@aladtec.com.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

New Feature: Forms Overview

Aladtec’s new Forms feature gives customers one more reason to go paperless--creating online forms. Any paperwork that employees need to submit including rig check sheets, incident reports, work orders, etc., can now be submitted and stored electronically in our secure database. Let’s take a look at a few features that will make Forms an important part of your Aladtec system.

  • Easy to use drag and drop form builder
  • Access from desktop, mobile devices, and tablets
  • Endless layout options for flexible form design
  • Notifications via email or text on each submission
  • Reporting tools for analyzing and exporting submissions

Form Configurator

Use the Form Configurator to create new forms, set permissions, and configure notifications.

Form Configurator

Each form has extensive permission and notification settings including the ability to establish who can submit forms, which members receive an email and/or text message on each submission, and who can view and/or modify past submissions.


Form Settings
  

Viewing Submissions

Each submitted form can be viewed individually.

The Form Viewer





Multiple submissions may be viewed by administrators via Form Reports.  Reports are customizable, filterable, and can be exported to a CSV file.

Form Reports

Example Forms

Below are three form examples built using the Form Configurator. Each of these forms are prebuilt in all Aladtec systems and can be modified to accommodate the unique needs of any service.

Work Order
Track vehicle maintenance requests and automatically notify a maintenance crew when new work orders are available.



Incident Report
Record on-the-job injuries and related employee information.



Rig Check Sheet/Truck Log
Keep daily records of equipment and operating conditions for each vehicle.



And More…
Design any number of custom forms to suit specific needs.

Contact Us

Please contact us with any feedback or questions at support@aladtec.com or (888) 749-5550.

Thanks, and have a great day!

Friday, June 20, 2014

APCO International Conference - Who's Going? We Are!

We are excited to announce we will be attending APCO's (Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials)
Annual Conference in NOLA (New Orleans) in August!

                  http://www.apco2014.org/wp-content/themes/twentyeleven-apco2013-child/images/interior-apco2014-logo.png


We recently became APCO members and look forward to meeting other members from all around the world.  Our recent press release on Elk County 9-1-1 (PA) was included in the  APCO's June PSC eNewsletter and can be found on their website here:  

http://psc.apcointl.org/2014/06/12/elk-county-9-1-1-switches-to-aladtec-for-staff-scheduling-workforce-management-solutions/

If you're attending APCO 2014 please visit our booth #955



Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Aladtec hopes to see you at EMS World Expo - November 10-13, 2014

We are happy to announce that we will be attending the 2014 EMS World Expo in Music City  - Nashville Tennessee!


EMS World Expo Icon

We hope to see many familiar faces and meet with many of our valued customers while we are there.  It's also a great opportunity for potential customers to try our Aladtec system and have a one on one conversation with a member of our sales team. As a leader in online employee scheduling and workforce management for the EMS sector, we appreciate the opportunity to be a part of this great event and meet with those who attend it.

Please let us know if you are attending too!

We look forward to seeing you...

Aladtec Booth:  #1150 (Near the food court)




Friday, May 23, 2014

Tech Tip: Scheduling with Repeats and Rotations

Aladtec’s Repeats and Rotations tool makes it easy to schedule members in complex patterns. The system comes preconfigured with rotations such as a typical 9 to 5, a 24-48, a California Swing and more. In this article, we will explore how to create, modify, and manage rotations as well as review common examples.

Creating a Rotation


To create a new rotation, hover over the Schedule Editor tab and click Repeats and Rotations. This view is broken down into two sections. The top half shows options for creating a new rotation, while the bottom half shows the past rotations created for a member. For now, let’s focus on the top half.
First, select the employee. Next, choose the Schedule and Position Slot this employee will work.

Use the second set of options to define the Schedule Repetition.

1. Repetition Type

The options for Repetition Type allow ultimate flexibility in how to schedule your members.


  • Weekly, 2-Week, etc: Scheduling on specific days of the week, up to a 12-Week rotation
  • Monthly: Schedule for the same day or date of the month
  • Custom Rotation: Schedule for any type of on-off rotation (ex. 12 on, 84 off)
  • Preconfigured Rotations: These are complex rotations that have preconfigured settings.






2. Start Time and End Time

Define the time frame the member will work.

3. Work Days (only shown on Weekly rotations)




Choose the days of the week the member will work.

4. Date Range

Set a Date Range for how long the member will be scheduled for this rotation.

Examples


Here are examples of rotations that are commonly used.

Administration

For employees working a typical 9 to 5, the weekly rotation allows scheduling for Monday through Friday. Set the appropriate Start Time and End Time and check all weekdays.










24-48
This basic three-shift rotation is preconfigured to schedule members 1 day on and 2 days off. Make sure the Start Time is set to the start of the shift and the Start Date is set to the first date the employee will work this rotation.







Custom Rotation

If you need a Repetition Type that is not in the list, Aladtec can create customized rotations to meet your specific needs.

Feel free to call us at 888-749-5550 to discuss.

Modifying a Rotation


After a member has been scheduled using Repeats and Rotations, the system allows administrators to modify the end date for the rotation.

To modify a rotation end date, first select the name of the employee in the Create New Rotation section. The bottom half of the screen will fill with the previous rotations for that employee.

Find the rotation to be modified, and click Modify on the right side.


The modify screen allows you to set a new end date and time for the rotation. This will unschedule or schedule time defined by the rotation.

For example, one of your employees moves to a different schedule. Since deleting the rotation will remove historical data, modify the end date of the rotation. This will unschedule the member in the future, allowing another member to be scheduled for that position.

Deleting a Rotation

Clicking Delete Rotation will remove any scheduled time that corresponds with this rotation, including past data.

In Conclusion...


The Repeats and Rotations tool offers a multitude of scheduling options to make rotational scheduling easier than ever. Please call us at 888-749-5550 if there are any questions.

Thanks, and have a great day!

Friday, May 9, 2014

Tech Tip and New Feature: Required Message Enhancements

Keeping employees informed with critical updates and information is made easy with a feature called Required Messages. This feature allows administrators to force a message to display, right when members log in. Let's explore how it works, as well as the recent enhancement.

Create a Required Message

Required Messages can be accessed by hovering over the home tab, and selecting Required Messages. Next, click Create Message.


A message needs three parts:
  • Title
  • Message body
  • Any number of recipients
Select which members sees the message using the list on the right-hand side.  Members can be selected individually be name or by access level. Finally, click Save and members will start seeing the post when logging in.

What a Required Message Looks Like

When a member logs in, the message will appear before seeing anything else in the system. They must read and verify the message by checking the accompanying checkbox. Clicking on any other navigation in the system will always bring them back to the required message.

Members Must Read and Agree

View Past Messages

Administrators can view all past required messages they have posted, as well as the date the message was read by each member. A recent enhancement now allows members to also view past messages.

To view a list of past messages, hover over the Home tab and click Required Messages. Expand the full contents of the message by clicking on the + icon.



 In Closing...

We hope you find that Required Messages greatly improves accountability and communication. If you have any comments or questions, feel free to reply to this post below or give us a call at 888-749-5550.

Have a fantastic day!

Monday, April 28, 2014

New Feature: Upcoming Shift Notifications

Aladtec makes viewing schedules and employees' upcoming shifts very easy. Whether members prefer to view shifts from a computer over the web or on a smartphone, there should never be a misunderstanding about when to work. In addition to these great features, employees can now receive a reminder by email or text message, 24 hours before their shift starts.

Enabling Upcoming Shift Notifications



To enable this feature, check the appropriate messaging types on each member’s My Info page. Each member can choose to receive either email or text message notifications by checking the applicable box.

How Upcoming Shift Notifications Work

Let’s take an example: If you work at 8:00 AM tomorrow, you’ll receive a notification at 8:00 AM today. It’s as easy as that!

Notifications are also sent when making last minute scheduling changes within 24 hours of the shift starting. For example, I schedule someone to start at 8:00 AM tomorrow, but it’s already noon today. The system will send a new notification to alert your member of the change.


In Closing...

We hope you find an improvement in your day-to-day tasks with this new feature. If you have any questions, please feel free to give our support line a ring at 888-749-5550. Have a great day!