From Sticky Notes To SMS: 7Shifts Organizes Employee Scheduling

Jordan BoeschMaybe old notebooks and scraps of paper aren’t the best “platforms” for managing your employee schedules. Jordan Boesch (pictured right), founder of online scheduling service, 7Shifts saw this first hand.

Jordan’s dad owned a sandwich shop and managed his employee’s schedules using printed Excel spreadsheets, and post it notes. As a programmer, this made Jordan cringe but also inspired him to found 7Shifts, an online management tool to make employee scheduling easier (and more organized).

We talked to Jordan about how they’re using Twilio SMS to keep employers in touch with employees on the go, streamlining scheduling communication,  and more.

What inspired you to found 7shifts?

I was working at the Quiznos store that my dad owned when I was in high school. I saw him in agony as he created the weekly schedules. He had excel open with a pile of sticky notes on his desk telling him which employees were on vacation and which ones were wanting specific shifts. As a programmer, I knew there was a better way. I told him I think I could help him make schedules more accessible and easier to manage. From there, I created a basic webpage for him to upload his excel spreadsheet and allowed employees to post their availability. It started out very simple but quickly evolved over the years into what is now known as 7Shifts.

How have you built your service to cater to different industries from restaurants, to coffee shops, to universities?

Our tool addresses a challenge that all these industries face – scheduling part-time staff. We focus on ensuring that managers and staff find our tool easy to use, no matter what industry they are in. We also ensure that the changes we make to 7shifts will be beneficial to our targeted client base.

How are you using Twilio?

Twilio provides some very key functionality to 7shifts customers. We use Twilio to send out text messages to staff: whether it be when a schedule is posted, when someone is requesting a shift trade, or when changes have been made to the schedule. We are also using Twilio for our company 1-800 number. We’re a relatively small company, so choosing to tie into Twilio was not only cost effective, but it was also extremely easy to do. We just ended up using the call forwarding Twimlet to ring our office phone.

How do restaurant owners and staff like the service?

The feedback has been amazing! Several of our customers don’t have a smart phone, so they appreciate getting the instant text message with their scheduled shifts. Being notified instantly is essential this day and age and Twilio allows us to do that with ease.

Anything you’d like to add?

We’ve consistently been impressed with the level of support from Twilio, as well as the constant improvements that have been made in terms of developer tools, analytics and reporting. When any of our customers inquire about whether or not a text message was sent, it only takes us a few clicks to find out the answer. This kind of insight is extremely valuable and helps reassure our customers that we’re providing them with the best level of support and service that we can offer.