Thursday, June 21, 2012

Employee Scheduling New Feature for File Storage

Do you ever need to get documents to your employees or other management staff, but need to make sure they've read it somehow? Never fear, Your Next Seven is here. With this release, inside of your messages, you have the option to attach a file or use a previously uploaded file all within our software.

Why Attach Files In Your Next Seven?
Think about the last time you needed to distribute the weekly special or some sort of memo. You send off an email or post a piece of paper with the information you need to distribute, but there's no way to tell if anyone has looked at it and you're limited to text. With this new feature you'll be able to add attachments to your messages allowing you to track who downloaded the file and at what time.

 - For example, let's talk pizza. - 

Yes, pizza. One of our newest clients has the best pizza in The Woodlands where we're headquartered. Every month they feature a new and different pizza. Instead of the manager just telling the employees what the pizza is, what if they broadcast a message from Your Next Seven and included an image of the latest masterpiece. Suddenly you have more than just a description of this month's special. You've got pictures that give your staff the ability to describe with intimate detail what they're selling.

 - Time stamped file signatures. - 

Pizza won't always be on the menu, we know that sometimes you need to get through to an employee with written documentation. If there's a need to issue a write-up or, on a cheerier note, if there's a new hire. Simply attach the form to a message directly to the employee. Because an employee has to sign in to view the document using a username and password only they know, when the employee downloads the attachment the time stamp can act as a digital record for your files.

There are countless ways you can use this in your everyday management needs and I'll go over a few others in the video overview, but I need to talk a minute about the cost of this new feature. We do allow you to host up to 7 files for free, however, we have to break our long standing rule to not charge for new features and here's why:

Hosting files significantly increases the hit on our servers, where-as most other Add-Ons have little to no effect. For that reason, if you need to host more than the free 7 file limit we offer, we do need to charge a bit. You are always free to host your files on another server and link to them in a message.

Your Next Seven, Inc - intuitive online employee scheduling
President / Lead Developer

Friday, June 15, 2012

Employee Scheduling Update That's Just Pretty

I was chatting with one of our managers the other day and got into a conversation about visiually representing what time of day an employee has requested off.

Now, for some background here, we aleady show managers when their employees need off with a yellow or red background on the schedule. If an employee has a weekly conflict it will show up on the schedule as a yellow background with a note on mouse over telling the manager what time they can't work.

If they have an irregular request that has been approved, like a vacation or something along those lines, it shows as a red background with a note on mouse over like the weekly conflict.

Employee Scheduling Conflicts - The Old Way
Old way of showing scheduling conflicts. 

We figured the mouse over wastes way too much time... so we're proud to introduce a smarter, faster, prettier schedule.

Now if an employee needs an entire day off the whole background for that day will be yellow. If they request am or pm, only half of the background will show as yellow with am covering the top half and pm covering the bottom half. Check it our with the side by side comparison and let us know what you think! Our goal is to make building your staff's schedule more intuitive than ever.

Employee Scheduling Conflicts - The New Way
New way of showing scheduling conflicts.
Here's a quick video overview of the new features, plus on extra little gift.

Your Next Seven, Inc - intuitive online employee scheduling
President / Lead Developer

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Employee Scheduling Add-On Giving More Control

We quietly released a new Add-On today that gives managers even more control over their accounts. This Add-On we're dubbing "Limit Functionality" will give you as a manager the ability to turn off Shift Swaps, Time Off Requests and the ability to Release Shifts.

Managers still have the ability to put in Time Off for their employees on the Employee Edit Screen so you still have the notifications within the scheduling software. We've got more Add-Ons in the queue that will be released in the coming days and we will keep you notified of everything we're doing to make your scheduling tasks easier.

Your Next Seven, Inc - intuitive online employee scheduling
President / Lead Developer

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

MOOYAH Review, The Woodlands, TX

So, it's a hard job, but someone's got to do it. Where there's a new burger joint, I am not too far behind looking in search for the perfect cow. These guys are close and I look forward to more combinations in the future. Here it is:

Let's start with the menu:
A simple one it is. You grab on of the cut up pieces of paper and get to circling while you are quickly herded through the line (sorry for that) on your way to ordering. My masterpiece consisted of a Mooyah Burger on a white bun with pepper jack cheese, oh and every free topping I could load on it. For the little ones they have a mini-menu. Prices are great on that and with a side of applesauce, our little cafes even ate somewhat healthy :)

Of course, the milkshake evened things out.


What a fantastic burger it was. A little background here... in my opinion you have two types of burgers:
  1. Type 1: Gourmet.Usually on some sort of heaven-sent bun without a single pickle out of place, these burgers are stupendous. I typically prefer one of these guys with avocado or possible some finely sliced pineapple. If this burger were a human, it would wear a top hat.
  2. Type 2: Goooood.
    One thing I've found holds true in most food experiences is the messier something is, the better it is. For this burger title to work you would have to say it in the voice of Bruce Almighty, "It's goooood.". These burgers have a ton of amazing toppings that, if not careful, will fall all over your shirt with the slightest movement.
Now, this burger. This burger was Goooooooooood. I told you what I had ordered in the second paragraph and I was even being a bit shy with the toppings that night leaving behind the optional bacon, avocado and fried onion strings.

The thing is, when I opened this burger, to my shock, there were 2 patties! "How could this have happened?", I asked myself. Did I order an additional patty without knowing? No. It turns out this wonder of a burger establishment just knows how to make their customers happy. When the employee came around to ask how things were and if we needed a refill I asked how I could have acquired this extra patty. Then the answer came... that's how all of these incredibly goooooooooood  burgers are designed. That's right, at no extra cost they throw another patty on to satisfy one's desire for the red, ground up meet that is the modern day hamburger. These people are saints.

The Extras
Once I had my fill of this -don't put me down or I'll fall apart- burger, I was then able to partake in a perfect take on fries in a cup, both regular and sweet potato. Also, as a throw down to the days of my youth, I had to indulge in the Oreo Shake to top off the evening.

- All in All -

I have to say that this place knows how to properly cook a goooooooooood ol' fashioned burger and make it's customers happy with a double patty, great fries and a variety of shakes to top it off. MOOYAH, my hats off to you and I look forward to our next encounter.

President / Lead Developer

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Crust Pizza Co. Review, The Woodands, TX

After watching the Texas Iron Man race a couple of weeks ago, my wife and I were craving some pizza. The thousands of spectators caused all the restaurants in the immediate vicinity to have 90+ minute waits, so we checked our Google Maps to find a pizza place nearby. Crust Pizza Co. was on our way home and had some decent reviews, so we decided to give it a shot.

My gosh am I glad that we did. As we pulled into the Panther Creek shopping center on Woodlands Parkway, the first thing we noticed about Crust was that the outdoor patio was packed. We figured that was a good sign. The guy who took our order just happened to be the owner of the company. We ordered a wheat crust with pineapple, Canadian bacon, and mushrooms--a variation of the Hawaiian pizza which is our favorite.

Two things we noticed while placing our order:

1) The prices here were incredible. A largepizza was only ten bucks and our three toppings were only $1.50 each. Of equal importance, a bottle of wine was only TEN dollars. That's ten bucks for a bottle of wine. And it was awesome. I actually spoke to the owner about this and he mentioned that they had originally planned on making it a BYOB restaurant but decided instead to offer quality house-wines at razor-thin margins so that everyone could enjoy a little wine with their meal.

2) The environment was top-notch. Beautiful, classy, but not pretentious. A young couple was sharing a private dinner in a booth while twenty feet away a family of six was enjoying a couple of extra large pizzas. Young and old, casual and well-dressed, single folks and families. Everyone felt comfortable here.

On to the food.

We received our bottle of wine immediately and were surprised at how good this ten dollar bottle of wine was. Granted, it was a little smaller than your usual bottle of wine, but it was still more than we could finish. 

The Natural on Whole Wheat
Alfredo Sauce, Baby Spinach, Roma Tomatoes,
Fresh Garlic, Virgin Olive Oil, Feta & Mozzarella Cheese
Then the pizza came. As we pulled our slices onto our plates, we noticed there was ZERO grease under the crust. This blew me away. I detest a couple pizza chains whose pizzas seem to be grilled in a pan full of butter. Crust's pizza dough was fresh and fluffy and the toppings were off the hook. We were in love.

Since that day, we have taken my in-laws there and it is now their favorite place. We also took my sister-in-law and her fiance and it is now their favorite place. In three weeks we have tried their Hawaiian (AMAZING), Tuscany, Veggie, and a couple random pizzas. My wife ordered the Hawaiian expecting it to just be Canadian bacon and pineapple, like most places. We were a little nervous when the pizza arrived with dried cranberries and roasted cashews...but that is now my favorite pizza on the planet.

Canadian Bacon, Pineapple, Roasted Cashews,
Sun-dried Cranberries, Mozzarella & Cheddar Cheese

If I were on death row and I had to request my last meal, the Hawaiian Pizza from Crust Pizza Co would be on the table in front of me. I'd also have some turkey and mashed potatoes...maybe some chocolate cake and milk, too, but now I'm way off topic.

Bottom line: If you want to eat a spectacular, flavorful, pizza in a great environment for less than you normally spend on delivery, go to Crust Pizza Co.

Roma Tomatoes, Mozzarella Cheese,
Fresh Chopped Basil, Crushed Garlic & Parmesan

Pepperoni Supreme
Double Pepperoni, Mushrooms,
Tomatoes & Smoked Mozzarella

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Employee Scheduling Quick Shifts Add-on

So, our scheduling software is fast. Imagine if you will a race between Flash and say, a snail. We pride ourselves in the ability to get you up and going on building your first schedule as quickly as possible. Now, to make that even faster, we've added our Quick Shifts Add-on. This will allow you to pre-define set shifts instead of manually selecting start and end times, breaks, and tasks for each employee. Here's how:

Activate the Add-on through your "Add-Ons" page under "My Account". It will look like this:

Once the Add-On is activated, you can either "Configure Add-On" from there or any time through the drop-down menu on the main schedule. When you are adding new shifts to use on your schedule, input at least a name, start and end time. Adding specific breaks or tasks to a shift is optional.

Once you have added your Quick Shifts, navigate to your schedule and click to add or edit any shift like you normally would. When you click the first "start" time option you will notice your shifts to the left of the time selector. Select which shift you would like to use and, vioala, your Quick Shift's information automatically fills into the current shift. You can then either add hours, or edit the shift slightly before you add the hours.

Would you rather watch the movie than read the book? Here you go...

Your Next Seven, Inc - intuitive online employee scheduling
President / Lead Developer