The Auction Module is designed to allow users to pick for vacation in an automated process totally dependent on the Auctioneer's settings. This is designed to allow the Administration to let the users pick vacation bids through the system, which will then show up across the platform automatically.
First, make sure the 'Auctions' module is enabled by going to System Settings > Modules.
Note: this is only available if the Time Off / Accruals module is activated here:
To create an Auction, click into the Time Offs module and select run Auctions at the bottom of the list.
The Auction Module will show you any active auctions as well as auctions that have closed. It's important to give creative names to each Auction so that users can easily find their Auction. The system will notify Employees by text message for the Auction they are able to bid on. You are able to see all Auctions in the system, even ones that haven't started yet. You will also be able to see what auctions are active and how many people still need to be contacted for the existing Auctions. Once an Auction starts, you cannot edit any of the Auction settings, so be sure that you set it up correctly the first time. If for any reason you need to make changes to the Auction, you will have to close the Auction and start the process over.
Click Start New to create a new Auction in the upper right-hand corner of the auctions page.
From there, you'll see the Create Auction window below:
We will go step by step through the Auction set up process.
The Auction can include existing individual employees, all employees, lists, groups, and filters in the bidding process. As with reports, start by typing in the first few characters of the list and the options will populate. It will also provide a drop-down menu if you press the down arrow on your keypad. In most cases, you'll just be selecting the shift group such as 'A Shift' or 'B Shift'.
Make sure to use a unique Title. If you just call it 'shift bid' the Employee might not be able to find their specific Auction easily. A description is not needed, but you might wish to place your union rules in this area as a reminder.
You can choose the Time Off Type based on your existing time off rules and lists. This with auto-populate for you. You can also use an optional Time Off Subtype if you choose.
You can select any date range for bids. Most likely, you will be choosing from January 1 to December 31st of the next calendar year.
The Default Daily minimum staffing is the number of employees that you require to be working every day. So if you have 3 stations with a minimum staffing of 2, this number would be 6. This will allow employees to pick the same days until that requirement is met. Remember that if you do not allow more than one person off a day, you will need to take that into account when selecting this number. So, if a normal day has 8 people on a shift but minimum staffing is 6, you'll need to make the Default Daily minimum to be 7, which will allow the Auction to work properly.
You can make exceptions for days that you do not allow off or that require extra staffing, such as certain holidays or events.
The Default Number of Shifts to bid is how many days the user is required to pick for the whole Auction. So, if you allow the user to take 10 days off in a calendar year, you would put '10' into the box.
Select the date and time you wish the bidding to start and to end. Remember that each user is allowed an hour by default, so please allow enough time for each Employee to receive the notification for them to bid.
Calling times is the period of time you want the system to contact the next person in line. If you only want users to be contacted during business hours (8:00am -5:00pm), remember to set the calling time as such and toggle for AM and PM. The Auction will pause if it goes outside of this time frame.
The Wait Time is the time Employees will have to pick their dates before the Auction will go into a stalled state.
the Default list order is set to Seniority, however you can also manually select the default order to go by Last Name.
Select Create Auction to start the bidding process, automatically contacting the first Employee on the list once the bidding start time occurs. Your Auction will not begin until the start time that you chose, allowing you to set auctions as far into future dates as needed. You will be able to watch the auction in real time as the bids are placed.
How the Auction bidding process works:
- The system will create the bidding order based on the list that you choose. It's recommended that you give yourself a chance to review the list before the first person is contacted. If you need to change the order of the list, just drag and drop the users into the correct order.
- A black dot next to the name means they are in the queue and they have not bid yet.
- A user does not need to be tied to the computer to be able to place their bids. Each person will receive a text message when their turn to bid has come around.
- Bids can also be done via the app, so users can do it from their mobile devices.
- Employees will be recognized as the user and be allowed to pick days for which they are scheduled. The system will not allow them to take off days if they aren't already scheduled. In this example, the Employee has an hour to reply to the Auction before the next person will be contacted. For an Employee to select their vacation dates, the can simply click on the scheduled shift to make the request. The Auction does not allow for partial requests and all requests are made for a 24 hour period on the day requested. The day selected will turn green, but will not 'lock in' the choice until the submit choices button is clicked.
- Once the selection is made, it appears on the calendar and shows that the user had made their vacation date selections. The next Employee on the list will be contacted immediately after the selections are made. The system will not wait the 10 minutes once you submit your picks, so Employee's need to be sure their selection date(s) are correct before submitting. This allows the Auction process to be done in a timely fashion. Once everyone has been contacted, has made their picks/or the auction time frame ends, the auction will close.
From there, the system will apply all the chosen dates to the specific users. Each pick will appear on the CrewScheduler, the Time Off Calendar and will be available to pull from reports as needed.
For now, the only option allows for people to make all their choices in a set order. Soon, you will be able to allow rotational bidding and more customization of the bidding process.
At any time you can view the status / events of an auction, either active or completed. To view a detailed table of information, simply click the 'See all' button on the main auctions detail page:
That will then show you a sortable, searchable Events log:
Only the 'Auctioneer' (the person who created/started the Auction) can delete an Auction from the system. To delete an Auction, from the main auctions window a red delete button will appear next to the Auction name. To delete the auction from the system (and all relevant time off entries, etc) simply click that button.
Only Employees who have the permission to 'Add / Edit / Delete Timeoffs' can be an Auctioneer.