After you've created your first project, it’s time to start planning. This tutorial covers assigning your crew to planned functions, checking availability, planning rides, creating schedules and sending schedules to your crew.
Open your project in the Planner
There are two ways to access the crew planner.
- Go to the module
- In an opened project, go to the tab, and click on .
Rentman’s crew planner timeline makes planning visual. The timeline is divided in two parts:
a top and bottom part. The bottom part is your availability timeline. When you select a crew member, his/her availability, pending invitations, and planned functions are displayed here.
The timeline shows your planned project functions, scheduled crew, and pending invitations. You can use the icons in the top-right to zoom and scroll through the timeline.
You can open and close your resources and filters by clicking on the icons in the top right of your screen.
- Your resources show you all crew members and vehicles that are currently in your system.
- In the filters column, you can select the planning period.
Note: Any time changes you make in the crew planner will not be modified in the project functions. If your job function says 8 hours and you extend it by 1 hour in the planner, the project will still indicate an 8-hour job on your quote and invoice.
Step 2 - Tracking your crew’s availability
You can keep track of your crew’s availability. Your employees and freelancers can get their own account in which they have access to their personalized agenda. They can use this to indicate their availability and see on which projects they are planned.
When you have function planned, you want to see who is available to work. There are three ways of how you can retrieve someone’s availability.
- When your employee or freelancer has indicated it in his/her agenda.
- By sending an availability request for a period.
- By requesting someone’s availability for a job function.
We will skip the first option, which is covered in this article. Instead, we jump to sending out availability requests.
Before continuing, here are some useful keyboard shortcuts for the timeline:
- Alt + Z to zoom in
- Alt + Shift + Z to zoom out
- Use Shift + mouse scroll for horizontal scrolling
- Use Shift + ? to see all keyboard shortcuts
To ask one of your crew members availability, take these steps:
- Select a crew member from the left column.
- From the bottom timeline select a period by dragging your mouse.
- Select the option ‘Invite’ and alter the times if required in the pop-up window that opens.
- In the next screen, set the option to request availability and click ‘Invite’.
An email (or push notification in the app) will be sent to your crew member. He/she can select to approve or decline the invitation. The response will translate to a light green bar (available) or light red bar (unavailable) in the timeline.
- More on invitations.
Step 3 - Inviting and planning crew members for a function
When you have unfolded a project in the left column all its planned functions will be displayed in the timeline. Follow these steps to invite someone for a project function.
1. Unfold your project by clicking on the arrow next to project (if you didn’t do this already).
2. Click on a red function bar within the timeline.
The function bar represents one of your job functions for this projects. The number between brackets shows the planned and required amount of staff. For example: (1/2) would mean two persons required while one is currently planned. The bar will turn green when all functions are occupied.
When clicking on a function bar the planner will display who of your crew is available to work by marking their names green (available) or red (unavailable).
3. Select the person you would like to invite to work on this job function.
4. Click on “Actions”.
5. Select “Invite selected crew members” from the fold out menu.
6. Rentman gives you the option to send an availability request (convenient when you select multiple persons) or a job function invite.
7. Select your preferred option and click on “Invite”.
The moment you click Invite, Rentman will send out an email and/or push notification (in case the person uses the Rentman app) with the details of the function. Pending invitations are displayed as a yellow bar under the ‘Invitation’ row of your project. When your invitee accepts or declines the invitation, this will sync with the Planner and displays in the timeline.
Planning crew members on a function
You can skip the step of sending invites when you know a person is available to work. In that case, there are two options for planning, temporarily and definitely.
- Temporarily planning can be used when a project is still in option.
- Definite planning is used when the project and planning are confirmed. The planning process works the same for both options.
How to plan a crew member:
1. Click on a red function bar within the timeline. You can change the function times by dragging the it.
2. Select the person you would like to work on this job function.
3. Choose to plan temporarily or definitely and click on the ‘Plan’ button. You can also double click on a crew member's name.
Step 4 - Sending out your schedules
From the crew planner, you can communicate your planning to freelancers and staff.
1. Start by clicking on the Email button.
2. Set a period.
3. On the right, choose the projects you want to send out the schedule for.
4. Select the crew members to whom you want to send the email. If crew members are highlighted in red this indicates that their schedule has been updated since the last email.
5. Click on ‘Send’.
6. In the pop-up, you can choose your email template (this is a standard text you saved before) or add text.
7. Click on ‘Send’ again.
Your employees will now receive an email with their personal time schedules of the projects you selected.