Newsletter #1 - 18/3/2014

Welcome to our (long overdue!) newsletter from Roster Portal! Our aim is to send out a regular newsletter to keep you informed of system changes, new updates, future updates, user tips and competitions.

The long winding road...

The development of Roster Portal has been a long and challenging journey where the system began in 2007 as a pure online rostering program to solve the needs of a frustrated manager in a Donut King store. The original roster and staff communication features still remain the centrepiece of the program today.

With thanks to customer feedback over the years, Roster Portal has turned into a sophisticated yet simple to use roster platform that also allows monitoring of accurate wage costs in advance and importing electronic timesheets into a multitude of payroll systems. At the time of embarking down the winding road of staff wages, little did we know just how complex the Australian wage awards would be!

Over the years of development, it has been our rigid goal to keep the system as user friendly as possible and this is something we continue to receive good feedback from customers and prospective customers. We want managers and staff to learn and use the system effortlessly, not spend hours trying to figure out how it works.

Going forward we aim to continue keeping up with the needs of our customers and the ever changing technology landscape to help reduce the time, cost and stress of managing staff on a roster.

Upcoming changes to the Email system

Currently we make a sent email 'look like' it has come from an Admin person's email address as this makes it quick and easy for a staff member to see who it’s from and to reply to. This however is a form of 'spoofing' and as there are literally thousands of emails being sent from Roster Portal each month, it can ultimately cause us to be 'blacklisted' by email servers as these emails can be viewed as spam.

We will soon be introducing a new configuration where your staff will receive their emails from "Admin Name" and when they hit 'Reply' it populates the email address field with the Admin's email. So it will work much the same as now and an added bonus, not only will the emails be more reliably delivered, is it will also help you identify if you have an incorrect email address for any of your staff.

New Features

Since February 2011 we have been using an in-house ticketing system to track feature requests, program faults and technical updates. At the time of writing we are up to ticket number 844 which means there has been a huge amount of development (and some bugs that needed fixing!) to give you the program you see today.

Some examples of the major features over the years are the Diary date blocker, wage Forecast report and introduction of 'Internet Banking' security levels. And we are always tinkering away behind the scenes trying to make the system quicker, more secure and more user friendly.

There are still a number of features we wish to introduce and always at the forefront of our thinking is:

  1. Will this feature benefit a number of users?
  2. Will this feature slow the system down (for everyone)?
  3. Can we maintain the user friendliness?

If we can satisfy these three criteria we are more than happy to move forward with the implementation after it has been prioritised.

Tip of the day!

We always recommend you make a Staff member 'Inactive' rather than 'Remove' them. Removing them from the system will remove all their details including any previous rosters! You can 'Inactivate' staff in the Staff Info page and you are not limited by how many 'Inactive' staff you have stored in the system.

Did you know?

1-2% of sent SMS's will fail from any phone network. Roster Portal monitors every sent SMS message from your portal and if it fails we will notify you by email so you can resend the message and also credit the failed SMS/s to your account.

All the best for 2014 and we hope you continue to create efficiencies in your organisation with Roster Portal!

Kind Regards,
The Roster Portal Team