Yesterday I received a call from a prospective customer who was evaluating Hello Scheduling. He asked me how we compared to a free employee scheduler that he was also considering. Like most software, free alternatives are generally available, but usually lack in three main categories:
- New Feature Development
- Bug Fixes
Free Employee Scheduling Software Rarely Gets New Features
Software development is expensive and time consuming — adding new features to software takes hundreds of hours. When creating a new feature, designers and developers walk through a number of steps, including:
- Understanding the problem that needs to be solved
- Creating a design / feature that will solve the problem
- Developing and testing the feature
- Ongoing maintenance of the feature
These features help save you time creating work schedules. If you decide that you’re going to try creating online schedules with a free tool, recognize that there is little likelihood that the software will be updated in the future.
At Hello Scheduling we’re building a business that delivers value to our customers. Because of that, we’re able to invest in our product. Since our launch in January 2011, we’ve added hundreds of features based on customer requests.
In the last month alone, we’ve added the ability for our customers to upload files as well as copy and paste shifts. Currently we have a mobile application in development. These new features would simply not be possible if we couldn’t pay our staff.
There’s a Scheduling Bug. Will You Fix It?
For the sake argument, let’s pretend that the only bugs in free employee scheduling software are related to scheduling. Let’s say that because of a bug, you schedule an employee making $8 / hr for just 6 extra hours per month. You didn’t really want to schedule the staff member, but because of a scheduling bug the employee shows up to work and you have to pay her.
This mistake cost you $48. That’s a lot of money when you could subscribe to Hello Scheduling for $24.95 / mo and avoid scheduling issues entirely.
Can You Help Me?
We answer every customer email and phone call. We regularly teach customers how Hello Scheduling works via live web demos. No free “vendor” can do that. ‘Nuff said.
The adage remains true: you get you pay for. If you’re running a serious business, creating work schedules with free software is going end up costing you more than simply subscribing to software like Hello Scheduling.