Rota management software – Jack and master of all trades

Jamie Harvey

Jamie Harvey


A key design principle when we were building our rota management software was to ensure it’d be awesome in every industry, for businesses large and small. From hospitality to retail to healthcare to leisure and more, we offer a consistently great product, regardless of how many staff or sites an organisation may have. This contrasts with many of our competitors whose software is targeted at a certain market.

A few days ago, a prospective client asked me an interesting question, along the lines of: “Why should I choose Rotaready over rota management software built especially for my industry?”

The answer? The niche requirements of each industry are already supported in Rotaready. The software is already configured especially for the rigours of your sector. Moreover, Rotaready also offers you great features from other industries (at no extra charge) you didn’t even know you needed.

Now that’s quite a claim to back up – read on to see what I mean.

The challenge is fundamentally the same…

Rota management poses the same fundamental issues across all industries: matching staff (with availability, skills, contracted hours, working constraints etc) with the shifts you need resourced (requiring certain skills, happening at certain times).

For example, the principles are the same whether we’re talking about…


  • a shop (needing key-holders, sales assistants, product specialists, …)
  • a pub (needing bar staff, floor staff, runners, chefs, kitchen porters, …)
  • a hotel (needing duty managers, receptionists, porters, engineers, kitchen staff, …)
  • a casino (needing skilled croupiers for each game, service staff, bar staff, …)

…but there are differences

Once you start digging a little deeper, the different approaches and requirements of each industry become quickly apparent.

Rather than split Rotaready into separate rota management software packages for each sector, we set out to “generify” and incorporate the special features of each industry so that all our clients would benefit from each other’s demands.

This means that Rotaready is already tailored to your industry, whilst giving you access to the advanced features other industries are using to stay on top of costs, handle staffing levels and resource staff efficiently. More bang for your buck.

Our rota management software gives you the best of all worlds

Here are a few of our favourite examples.

Powerful scheduling

A number of our clients provide supported living care to disabled service users. A big complication they face is that during a care professional’s working day, they’ll do lots of shorter “slots”. For example, during a 7.00 – 15.00 working day, a care professional might support Amy with a 7.00 – 8.00 medication shift, Ben with an 8.00 – 8.45 personal care shift, Clare with shopping support from 9.30 – 11.30 and so on. On top of that, there’s often the aim to resource a service user’s keyworker whenever possible, schedule a dedicated lunch break, and allow time for admin work.

Generifying the requirements means Rotaready supports complex rostering rules across the board. For one client, for example, we were able to leverage Rotaready’s scheduling power to arrange cover for lunch breaks in a department store where each shift had its own requirements.

Cost control

HospitalityFor our clients running bars, pubs, restaurants and hotels, keeping a close eye on wage costs is key.  Rotaready calculates labour expenditure in real time (including holiday pay and employer’s NI contributions for both salaried and hourly-paid staff). We’ve also built a suite of advanced forecasting tools, meaning anticipated revenue can be detailed and therefore wage percentages automatically calculated for each part of the business. And lastly, the budgeting aspect we developed allows a comparison between forecasted and actual sales and wage costs.

Although this feature was demanded by our hospitality clients, we’re seeing a lot of uptake from our other customers – particularly in retail – where previously their weekly budgeting had been only in hours rather than money.

Flexible staffing

RetailRotaready holds bespoke templates for your staffing requirements for different trading periods. For example, high street shops tend to need more staff during key trading times such as Christmas. Rotaready is designed to hold as many templates as you need during the year.

All our customers, regardless of size or industry, can enjoy our flexible approach to handling different staffing templates.

In fact, it was with one of our retail clients that we first brought our intelligent forecasting technology to market – more on that another time. Again, this aspect of our rota management software is being enjoyed by a full range of our customers.

Visibility & reporting

Our clients with many sites need to be able to aggregate specific data on a large scale. For example, analysing spend on a particular part of the business, or hours dedicated to certain functions.

We built Rotaready HQ (which I’ll cover soon) which is available to all our customers, providing head office staff and area managers with the reporting tools and controls to effortlessly get the data they need.

Individuals’ preferences and niche rules

Smaller organisations typically like to be able to accommodate individuals’ working preferences and often have more intricate needs (for example, where week on week, one member of staff always works a similar set of shifts).

To handle this, every client (large or small) can amend every individual’s working settings and preferences. Furthermore, as part of the standard setup process, we accommodate any intricate scheduling needs so they’re automatically considered when you build a rota.

So… Rotaready not only gives you the bespoke management tools your individual business requires, it also offers you the opportunity to use and benefit from the tools which other businesses in other sectors are using to manage the same fundamental problems of rota management. Jack – and master – of all trades!

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