Tip from Paul Spinosa as seen in CSE Nov. 2013 Newsletter:
I’d like to discuss exporting reports. I’ve been put into numerous situations when I needed to find out where an employee was originally scheduled as well as calculate data over a period of time. A schedule in its original state when posted never remains that way due to switches, LOA’s, etc.
To get started, create a folder on a shared network called weekly masters (2013). Keep two separate subfolders for Supervisors and Dealers. You should export two types of masters. As soon as you post a schedule online, WEEKLY, you should go directly to the application and begin exporting master schedules. First, export a PDF of the master schedule (supv and dealers) you just posted online to their respective folders. This PDF of the Office Use Only master schedule will be used to investigate assignment changes and time start proof. The second export will be in Excel. Choose the Microsoft Excel 97 – 2000 - Data only (xls) option to export. This will enable you to use that data for days off balancing, scheduled hours calculations, etc. You will now be able to refer to any posted schedule in the past in its original state whether it’s for data calculations or assignment references.
From Matt Stavanus as seen in CSE Nov. 2013 Newsletter:
Let’s talk a little bit about employee numbers. Employee Numbers are unique identifiers in the Application database, but we do not use the Employee Number as a Unique identifier on the Employee Portal. That said, we do use the Employee Number in the application to reference the User account on the portal. So, every time an upload is processed, we compare the Employee Number to the User accounts on the Portal and make any updates that are needed.
Now, the important part. If you change an employee’s Number, they will not get their updates on the Portal unless you go to the Portal and update it there as well. Go to Manage Users, select the employee you want to change, and enter the new employee number. You must do this before the next time a schedule upload is processed; if you miss the upload, a new user account will get created and that person will basically get disassociated with their original user account and you will have to call support to have them fixed. If you make the change online prior to the upload, it’s business as usual.
If you are a Schedule Ease customer who has more than one departmental database (one for Table Games and one for Poker, for example), you should also be aware of how this process works when an employee is transferred from one department to another. When an employee is transferred, they keep the same user account on the portal as they had when they were in the previous department. In order to move them from one to the other, first you will create a new employee record in the new department (with the same employee number); that will give them access to both departments on the portal. Once you have their final day scheduled in the original department, remove their skills from that departmental database so they don’t get auto-scheduled in the future (do NOT set a termination date). Once the transfer date has passed, remove their email address form the original department and they will then only see the new department.
A reminder, if an employee is terminated in any departmental database, their portal account is completely disabled for all departments. A termination date should only be used if the employee is leaving the property altogether.
Tip from Paul Spinosa as seen in CSE October Newsletter:
I’ve been hearing a lot of early starts / late starts chatter lately and I would like to address it using “skills” to control this instead of the employee info screen. Since our software’s strength is the skill based randomization, I figured why not use those skills to your advantage.
If you’re looking at the table type of Blackjack, try this:
First, go to View > Skill Maintenance and create the skill Dealer, BJ Early Start. Next, go to View > Table Type Maintenance and create table type Blackjack Early Start (keep the initials BJ for this game type so the sign in sheets do not change) and associate the new skill you just created with the new game. There still must be a Floorperson BJ and Pit Manager skill associated with the new table type as well. As far as table type priority goes, try using one number lower than your regular BJ table type (depending on how the schedule fills, this might have to be adjusted).
Make sure that the employees that you are trying to schedule into these early starts have the new skill (in the employee info screen/skills) to be scheduled accordingly. You can use the same philosophy for late starts as well by creating the same new skill and table type called BJ late starts. You can do this for ALL table types where you want to keep employees in certain time starts. Keep in mind, when assigning time starts through the roadmaps, that you must attach early start “time groups” to these early start table types and late start “time groups” to late start table types. As always, don’t forget to adjust the reliefs if you introduce these new table types to your roadmaps as well as reconstruct your reliefs that have been changed to the new table type. I would recommend testing this in a small area on ONE of your roadmaps before changing all of your table types.
I find this to be a better way to schedule early and late starts than changing the time definitions in the employee information screen. Give it a try and, as always, if you have any questions please call or email.
From Matt Stavanus as seen in CSE Sept. 2013 Newsletter:
If you have ever created assignments for a week, made roadmap changes, and then created assignments for that week, again; then you have had to make a decision whether to Keep All Assignments, Keep Manual Assignments, Discard All Assignments, or Cancel the creation of assignments. There has been some confusion about what really happens behind each of these buttons and I want to try and clear that up here.
If you select anything but Cancel, we start out by making a backup of the schedule that will get overwritten. Next, we completely remove all of the assignments from that schedule. After that, we create all brand new assignments based on the Roadmap and Other Positions. The next step is totally based on your selection and the only part of the process that is actually different. Here’s what we do, based on your selection:
Keep All Assignments – We match up all of the assignments that we backed up against all of the new assignments and copy the assigned employee numbers into the newly created assignments.
Keep Manual Assignments – We match up any Manually Assigned assignments that we backed up against the new assignments and copy the assigned employee numbers into the newly created assignments. This only applies those assigned using Fill Open Assignments, with “Manually Assigned” checked.
Discard All – We do nothing further in the process. All assignments for that week will be left unassigned.
Cancel – Ends the process before any action is taken, no backup is made, no assignments are deleted, no assignments are written.
So, why do we remove and re-write all of the assignments? To make sure all roadmap changes are incorporated; deletions, updates, and additions. If an assignment time, pit, type, skill, or skill level is changed, we do not copy the employee number back from the backup. We likely no longer want the same person in that assignment because they may no longer match the requirements of the assignment, anyway.
Something that’s important to note. If you inadvertently over-write your assignments and Discard All or select Keep Manual when you meant to select Keep All, then all is not lost. Just put in a support ticket with us and we can help you retrieve the deleted week from history; you have to make sure that you don’t over-write it twice though or we won’t have anything in the history to restore.
Tip from Paul Spinosa as seen in CSE Sept. 2013 Newsletter:
I would like to discuss "combine floor areas," which seems to cause confusion from time to time. This is a great tool when used properly to staff your casino floor with more floor during your highest business needs such as swing shift (2 or more floor needed) vs. Grave Shift (1 floor needed) . The problem I see that occurs too often is when you close the area of the floor that is combined and wonder why that floor doesn’t appear anywhere. (I’ll discuss cheating the roadmaps later to fix this).
Here is the example I like to use:
Rule of thumb is: the floor that you highlight will be the floor that disappears in your relief strings or anywhere for that matter. The problem that arises is when you close tables on the key floor area (1A) and open tables in the other two floor areas (1B, 1C). This is when no floor areas appear anywhere. The fix is to cheat the roadmaps by (temporarily) attaching a game that is open in floor area 1A and THEN uncombine the other floor areas. You must go back and unattach that table to the 1A floor area.
Another good rule is to keep all you’re A (or whatever you choose) floor areas your 24 hr floor. It will alleviate a lot of confusion if you know 1A, 2A, 3A, 4A are your 24 hr floor areas.
Also, just a reminder, to uncombine floor areas, use the ctrl key and follow the instructions at the bottom of the floor area dialogue box.
Tip from Paul Spinosa as seen in CSE Aug. 2013 Newsletter:
I would like to share with you a tip that has stopped all schedulers from making changes through the roadmaps, mid week, while working on a schedule due to a change in business needs. Deleting roadmaps has been an issue in previous versions of Schedule Ease, especially after the assignments have been created.
In Version 6.0 ONLY, you can now delete roadmaps after a schedule has been run. For example, if you have a schedule that was run for the week of 8-5 to 8-11, you can go to a single roadmap such as 8-6, delete it (you will be prompted a couple of times to make sure you want all the assignments deleted for that day), copy a previous day into 8-6 and recreate the assignments without affecting the other days of the week (Keep All Assignments) and rerun another schedule, only scheduling 8-6.
You also have the option to delete a whole week and start over without any intervention from Schedule Ease. We no longer have to make database changes to allow you to delete roadmaps. Just keep in mind that all the assignments will be deleted as well. You will be prompted to accept this deletion.
From Matt Stevanus as seen in CSE Aug. 2013 Newsletter:
By far, the biggest time saving and most useful new feature in CSE 6.0 is Pre-Assignments. For years we had Constant Schedules available, but you had to pick the person and then go search for the assignment (by name). Now, you simply go to the Roadmap, double-click the Table, Area, Floor Area, Pit, or Position and then select the Pre-Assign button; pick your employees for that selection and click Ok. Those employees will get scheduled in that position every week until you de-select them. Is it that simple? Yes, it's that simple.
Two things to note on the Pre-Assignments. If you change times, names, or skill levels; all of the Pre-Assignments for that item will be ended and removed. Also, when you copy Roadmaps from one week to the next, the Pre-Assignments will be copied with them; if you only copy one day to another, the Pre-Assignments are removed.
Since this is a new feature we designed, developed, and released over the past 2 months, there are bound to be things we didn't think of. If you see any areas for improvement or run into any problems, please let us know; the development team and I will be glad to review your requests or fix your problems. As always, the same applies to all aspects of the Schedule Ease Suite of software.
Tip from Paul Spinosa as seen in CSE July 2013 Newsletter:
Team members changing shifts, status and days off after you run a schedule are not reporting properly on the Floor and Dealers master schedule. I know this can be a little frustrating when looking at your master schedules. Here’s the explanation and the way to work around it.
The Master Schedule works from Schedule History. When you run a schedule, the employee data is copied into a history table so that any time you run a report in the past, you get the employee data as it was defined at the time of the schedule. If you change an employee's shift after you run the schedule, it will not reflect on the Master Schedule until you look at a week that was scheduled AFTER the information was changed.
Paul’s tip. If you want team members to report properly, follow this simple step. Fill all open assignments. YOU CANNOT HAVE ANY OPEN ASSIGNMENTS. Before you Post Schedule, go to schedule and run the do schedule function again like you’re going to run the auto schedule function. DO NOT WORRY, the schedule cannot change from its existing state. Do not pull any dual rates or part time dealers like normal (put in all zero's). Since there are no open assignments, the schedule cannot change any assignments and will keep the schedule intact in its current state. After the schedule is finished, any shift, status and day off changes will now report properly. That's all that's to it, now you're a master schedule genius.