Free tools for managing employees and hours


I am creating a service (PC maintenance) business and I need a tool for keeping track of which employees are available at what times. This data needs to be exported or otherwise accessible by a web application so clients on the website can schedule an appointment at a time where there is a staff member available.

It would serve as one system for me to manage the employees and the website to get relevant data. I consider this of pretty trivial nature yet I couldn't find any tools which provided this functionality without a major rewrite.

Do any of you have experience with such (preferably free) system?

Management Employees Website Tools

asked Dec 1 '13 at 07:25
6 points
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  • I'd have prefer you to ask about open source tools rather than free tools but that's me just nitpicking. :L – Liam Dolman 10 years ago
  • "I consider this of pretty trivial nature" - write your own then? – Bhttoan 10 years ago
  • I didn't imply it was a trivial thing to create, merely it seems like a system many smaller service businesses would use. However it seems the only viable solution right now is to write my own, yes. – Joachim 10 years ago
  • There are plenty of tools (some free) that sound suitable for what you are after. See for some examples. – Neil Robertson 10 years ago

2 Answers


I haven't seen anything with the functionality you are looking for, most erp/hr systems were built for fixing bugs rather than managing shifts, but I would tell you what I think would be the best way to approach this.

Firstly separate the front and back end of your service.

On the front end you would need to build a form that would gather the clients availability, basic details on the issue and contact details. Have that form email you a copy, simpler and faster to implement than integration which can be done at a later date.

On the back end have a shift management system, phpScheduleIt may be good but I have only used the demo, to match up client availability to staff availability.

Then contact the client to confirm booking.

answered Dec 1 '13 at 12:19
Liam Dolman
182 points


Not free, but very handy: let your employees use Outlook calendar to register time spent per job and to register future availability. Possibly backed by exchange or online exchange. Then use export of Outlook (or view as table, copy & paste) to make it available elsewhere. For us, this was the basis for our ERP system Invantive for project and service organisations, but for this scenario you have sufficient with Outlook alone. Possibly you might want to code labor type using categories.
At my previous employer (Square Service Management Systems) we had a solution using what is now known as "optimize my day" (it is based on software of Geodan EDT which no longer exists). It is well suited for larger teams (up to 2000 service engineers) and also does distance-based planning (travelling sales men problem). See optimize my day site

answered Dec 2 '13 at 06:11
Guido Leenders
101 points
  • You could have modified this to use Lightning and Tunderbird (Mozilla Email and Calender) which would make your initial proposal open source based. OMD sounds good on paper but alas there is no public demo or price structure. – Liam Dolman 10 years ago
  • Hi Liam, thanks for the tip, in fact you can use any calendaring package which allows calendar sharing to plan shifts. It can be google calendar, the calendar of Apple with it's server part (don't know the name) or even the old Novell Groupwise. OMD is more for larger companies, I think their pricing is something like EUR 30 per employee per month or so, but as with any enterprise solution: the prices may vary wildly. – Guido Leenders 10 years ago

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Management Employees Website Tools