• Home
  • Resources
  • Blog
  • Planning management: why choose between Excel© or planning software?
Planning management: why choose between Excel© or planning software?

Although it is not its primary purpose, Excel© is the reference planning tool for managing work organisation in the majority of companies. However, today's planning software is much more powerful!

So, what are the main reservations of users, whether managers or foremen? Conversely, what benefits can organisations expect in terms of efficiency and compliance with legal constraints? Eventually, won't changes in the way companies are organised make the use of planning software unavoidable?

Is Excel© suitable for planning management?

In many companies, each department has an Excel© sheet that plans the work organisation. But this is never centralised, and never fully shared. Although employees are familiar with the tool, the Excel© file is never worked on collectively.

The more changes are made, the longer the intervention time and the greater the risk of error. What's more, an Excel© file is only as good as the date on which it was saved: there's no guarantee that a later version doesn't exist.

A European study by the consulting firm bearing Point on another planning topic – the demand management - confirms that Excel© is ill-suited to companies' current needs. What's more, only 42% of respondents believe that the tool meets planning requirements.

Planning software: do employees trust these tools?

The use of Excel© often represents a form of power for managers and team leaders who have to manage these files: some have become the "masters" of an incredibly complex schedule! In their absence, no-one is capable of understanding the Excel© file...

It is therefore easy to understand that they may feel disempowered by the use of a centralised planning tool. Other reservations stem from the possibility of obtaining “the” desired presentation of the schedule, via Excel©.

However, with planning software, work organisers have to comply with more structured tools that force them to rationalise their way of working.
Hence the need for a support process for change within the company, with a training period for employees to learn about the software and a common methodology.

Efficiency and social progress: what are the “hidden” benefits of planning software?

The many advantages of scheduling software include:

  • Access to a schedule updated in real time
  • Multi-media distribution: PC, tablet, smartphone
  • Better readability for everyone

The main advantages of a planning software lie in compliance with and management of legal obligations, both in terms of organising work and monitoring it.

For example, a planner who solves a workshop supply problem by deciding that a particular employee won't be taking a break is making the system work, but he's putting the company in violation of the law. If, on the other hand, the company's management is well structured, it has the necessary safeguards in place to prevent any abuses.

In this regard, planning software is a vehicle for “social progress”.

Collaborative working for flexible work planning 

Evolving expectations in terms of management and social interaction are forcing companies to re-evaluate their organisational methods.

For example, a team leader has to swap the schedules of Mr Jones and Mr Smith. How do you get the information out quickly? Excel© cannot interface with messaging tools. On the other hand, the planning software can access the company's HR data and immediately send a text message to both employees.

Another example: an employee has a medical appointment at 10am, but he will be working in the morning the following week. He wishes to swap his schedule for the day with that of a colleague, and informs his head of department.
If the latter manages the schedules of 100 people on his own using Excel©, he will have to reorganise everything and is likely to refuse. Conversely, with a simple, centralised management tool such as Kelio’s time and attendance software, an employee can directly ask to swap their schedule with a peer.

The swap will only be validated once the legal constraints for both employees, the cost to the company and the consistency of the swap have been checked. Using their smartphone, employees can practically solve their own problems!

When planning software goes hand in hand with quality of life at work (QWL)

According to the publishers of time management solutions, in most cases, companies use a centralised, methodical planning solution to achieve their growth objectives.

But new demands are emerging. We observe that QWL and work/life balance are becoming increasingly important factors in work organisation.

Companies want to meet specific needs. If an employee isn't feeling well this month, why not lighten their workload for the time being by scheduling them to work afternoons, and then plan for them to work nights next quarter as part of their annual work schedule?

Reactivity / proactivity, guaranteeing compliance with legal obligations, reducing costs, streamlining processes: planning software is a key asset for organisations.
By simplifying the introduction of time management within the company, these solutions contribute to the collaborative and participative approach that employees want, and directly help to retain talent. In the era of "smart working", they are designed to assist organisations in rethinking their management systems.

Your planning can become an asset to your business, so why not discover all the possibilities offered by ultra-customisable planning software like Kelio?


Share the article