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STEP 1- Choose the Software

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What it Means to Truly Take the “Work” Out of Workforce Management

They say every successful business is good at one thing: solving problems. The more specific the problem, the better.

When Gemstone Logistics started out in the scheduling, logistics, and management software industry, we knew exactly what that problem was and how to solve it. Our founder, Tom, had worked in many remote locations for oil and gas and knew firsthand about the difficulties these companies faced. Among the greatest of those was reliability. So, we made it our mission to develop a product that was 100% stable and unfailing.

Camp and flight scheduling software in Alberta was just not cutting it, and even global options were not offering the stability we wanted to see. The same issues were coming up over and over again and at the end of the day, the software wasn’t working consistently for clients. When things were easy, everyone was able to easily cruise along. However, whenever the workload increased or there there was a bump in the road, it quickly turned into a full roadblock. The software couldn’t keep up. Not only was that holding up software development teams; it was holding up client operations and resulting in revenues leaking through cracks in the system.

Scheduling and management software’s primary goal is to save companies time and money on HR management, tracking time and attendance, booking flights and rooms, and managing assets on-site. It’s supposed to make scheduling streamlined and accurate. That means that even during busy operational times, the management software you’re running has to be working at full capacity, without any errors.  

The problem? Software companies were set on offering “customizable” solutions to clients. It sounds good, right? In theory, everyone wants their systems to be customized. But in practice, that customization piece is where the systems behind the software system fall apart.

Let’s dive a little deeper into why that happens and how the Gemstone Logistics team set about overcoming it.

Issues with Customizable Workforce Management Software

In software development, complexity is the ultimate enemy. You want the system to do more and perform better, but not by simply grafting new pieces into it. To be streamlined and stable, additional features need to come from a place of consistency and strategy.

The most noxious problem with customizable software is that in changing one version of the program, you’re taking it out of the larger context of the system. Every system becomes an individual version. That means updates can’t go out across the board.

Let’s walk through a specific example. Say you buy customizable flight scheduling software from a developer. In order to customize it, the developers have to replicate their main software and then modify it for you individually. You get one “version” of the software. Now, in order to make an update to that software, the support team has to come in and install that update directly for your version. In some cases, the update won’t impact the customized software in the intended way, because your specific version of the program is not the same as the master software used to create the update.

At the end of the day, you’ll pay more for a customizable option that gives you less functionality. When our team spotted this problem, we knew that there would be more value for clients if we could develop a system that didn’t require constant overhauls or “quick” fixes.  

What is a Configurable Workforce Management Solution?

Companies in need of management software – especially in the oil and gas sector – have individual needs. We’ve always known this, and yet, we knew there was a better way to approach that individuality without sacrificing effectiveness. That’s why we designed our systems to be configurable, rather than customizable.

You can think about Gemstone Logistics software as a self-contained web of tools and services. Whereas customizable software starts at a single point of need and branches out into hundreds of “add-on” features, the Gemstone Logistics software options combine into one unified solution. Instead of building new features every time there’s a need for them, all the features come automatically and you can simply ignore those that don’t fit with your workflow or requirements.

This means we’re not running beta-programs or hitting walls as we try to develop. The new system starts working right away and keeps working. Because our support team isn’t running around to find workarounds or fixes to major issues, we can put that time into constantly improving and adding features to our already robust programs.

What Do You Need from a Management System?

We’ve talked to clients facing their busiest months to date, and what they’re always most worried about is whether they’re going to fall behind in their data. The second that happens, they lose control over assets and resources. It can be difficult to pick up the pace to match new demands when there are inefficiencies in the technology.

What companies really need is a solution that cuts down on lag time. The data transfer in our programs is instantaneous. Project managers can get real time updates and easily close out their paperwork for the day. At a higher team level, decisions about assets can be made more quickly and effectively because there aren’t any pieces of the puzzle missing.

Instead of overpromising on customization and under-delivering on effectiveness, our approach has been to offer more stabilized software that depends less on manual entry. This reduces human error, saves time, allows for more control over assets and human capital management (HCM), and ultimately leads to smoother operations.

Three Fully Integrated Workforce Management Applications

Full integration doesn’t mean the systems are communicating with one another. It means they are acting as one. Most other developers haven’t had the time or resources to dedicate to this level of integration because they’re so focused on customization.

The best part about it is that we can configure specific software applications to individual needs so major corporations aren’t paying full price for solutions they don’t need, but the portions they do need are fully integrated. It’s not a one-size-fits-all solution, but it’s also not so individually customized that it won’t work effectively at all times.

CampWare

CampWare provides the ultimate solution for managing guests and facilities.

Some of the features of CampWare include:

  • Workforce scheduling
  • Camp security
  • Food service management
  • Housekeeping
  • Guest history and information
  • Text messaging notifications for check-ins and check-outs

CIRYS

CIRYS is an intuitive travel and room reservation tool that helps you - streamline your bookings.

With CIRYS, you can streamline:

  • Room booking and flight booking
  • Scheduling times and dates for travel
  • Multiple transport options
  • Mobile reservations and notifications for travellers

ILLUMYS

ILLUMYS is a robust project control system encompassing all your labour, equipment, and material resources.

A few popular ILLUMYS features include:

  • Instant time card approvals for faster payroll processing
  • Employee scheduling software
  • Contract validation
  • LEM (Labour, Equipment, and Materials) reporting

Kaitlin is the First Level Support Manager, and prides herself on her keen problem solving abilities. She is dedicated to finding the most efficient and streamlined solution in all aspects of her life whether it’s finding the best way to see the most in Europe, or efficiently processing 500+ reservations for turnaround – she is up to whatever challenge comes her way!