Cru Software Blog

Benefits of Automated Roster Management Software over Excel

Spreadsheets. Most people either love them or hate them, and with over 85% of spreadsheets estimated to contain some form of error, their use within a business setting certainly sets of alarm bells. An 85% chance of an error, that’s a truly alarming statistic, right?

Even if you are an avid spreadsheet lover from way back, their flexibility can only reach so far. Spreadsheets are undoubtedly helpful and have been used for several years as the optimal solution for managing basic rosters and completing basic scheduling functions. However, as a company grows, the more complex the spreadsheet becomes, with an increased need and reliance to effectively manage the complexities of large-scale workforces. As the roster expands, so does the complexity risk for error.

Given the large risk of error associated with spreadsheets, you may be thinking of the old saying "It is not the tools we use that make us good, but rather how we employ them". So, what is so wrong with a spreadsheet?  Well, sometimes old sayings don’t always hold true, and not having the correct tools can limit one’s ability to complete the task at hand. Why not adapt and start utilising the tools that can really make a difference to your business.

Learn how CQ Field Mining Services made the change

Take our recent client, CQ Field Mining Services for example. CQFMS managed their workforce and planned their rosters using ever-increasingly complex Excel spreadsheets like many other businesses and operators. While Excel is a capable tool, rostering a growing team of people over a 24/7 period all while adhering to EBA and fatigue regulations can quickly become a nightmare of complexity and error.

Through implementing system driven rostering software, the team at CQFMS were able to significantly reduce roster preparation time, creating rosters in minutes, easily ensuring continued compliance with EBA and fatigue requirements in addition to having the ability to manage changes to their rosters more effectively.

Creating a safe roster

CQFMS and Cru Software, as part of the Biarri group, place considerable emphasis and value on safety. We also pride ourselves on our ability to understand that an implied safety culture goes beyond the job site and includes appropriate roster creation. It is, therefore, critical when planning a roster to have the correctly trained and skilled people for the job and to ensure that employees have current certifications suitable to be rostered to work on a site.

Our automated rostering software is the perfect tool. It has in-built validation rules which enforce training and skills compliance, fatigue management, and EBA compliance, enabling workforce planners to plan and roster the correct workers to be deployed on-site. Previously, it was a challenging and arduous task for CQFMS to manually update and track overtime and employee hours for their large workforce using excel.

The right tool

By stepping away from Excel spreadsheets and adopting a sophisticated automated rostering system, CQFMS has made noticeable improvements in workforce planning and managing its rosters. Reducing time and effort to generate rosters while also automating skills and fatigue compliance tasks.

What are the other benefits of using Auto Rostering software?

Demand-based rostering

Account and rostering for fluctuating demand such as shutdowns, seasonal changes in production, maintenance, overhauling and nowadays pandemics.

Flip the scenario above on its head and use the tool to analyse for shortfalls – gaps in coverage. This can sometimes appear as a meaningless empty cell or row in Excel with no cause for alarm.

Intelligent rostering software allows you to plan for the unplanned - everybody loves a contingency plan – especially when it comes to maintenance or shutdowns.

Removes multiple Excel processes and roster plans

Use one system for multiple sites and an unlimited workforce. Publish with version control and audit capability and be alerted to noncompliance or areas to identify changes. Moving to simple automated rostering software removes the error-prone and repetitive tasks of a planner's role. Giving back more time to manage the workforce better and focus on more strategic aspects of rostering and workforce optimisation.

Large scale view from every angle

We often hear that Excel gives us a clear view of our rostering for longer periods – most other software products do not have this capability for the resources industry. Yes, we agree it's a great aspect of Excel. The good news, Cru Rostering can do that too! Providing the ability to view rosters and identify gaps from a single day or up to more extended periods of months for planning and undergo changes in seconds.

Reduce the cost of missed shifts & flights

Intelligent rostering solutions record flight itineraries and pass the detail onto the worker, giving them the extra nudge to reconfirm their shift while decreasing the number of missed flights. An intelligent system can access the worker's roster, flight, and accommodation details, bringing the information together to create a positive customer experience – for schedulers, contractors and employees. 

We can take that a step further when integrating with Fly2Work by automating the entire process! Roster and book the flights, accommodation, and site travel seamlessly with integrated solutions.

Human Resources (HR) assist

Remove the need to transfer new employee lists through to Excel to begin planning the roster. With the right automated rostering software, integrations will streamline the on & off-boarding process and maintain and store employee documents (qualifications, certifications), improving compliance. 

Reduce errors

Manually managing hundreds of FIFO rosters by spreadsheets, emails, or other manual tools leaves you vulnerable. You're not only increasing the workload but exposing your organisation to mistakes by human error, and sometimes these can be expensive.

Minimise risk by optimising the workforce using an intelligent and modern workforce rostering system, forecast demand for each area of your business and measure against key performance indicators to achieve and exceed expectations.

Given the current work environment, it is more important than ever for organisations to transition to an automated rostering system, but this journey needs to thoughtfully focus on the solutions that will provide the most significant value while protecting your workforce’s safety and well–being is critical, and in this category, rostering can be a game-changer.

If you want to know more about how Cru Rostering can improve your roster and workforce planning or have any further questions, please contact us now or

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About Us

Cru Software provides innovative rostering software solutions that help businesses automate their rostering processes. Our goal is to make the rostering process as simple as possible so you can spend less time worrying about rostering and more time focusing on what matters: running your business.

What is the solution?

Create efficient rosters at the click of a button and notify staff automatically.

What is Cru rostering software?

Cru Software's powerful online rostering system makes the rostering process seamless.

What is a smart roster?

Cru Software's smart roster feature uses the latest AI techniques to automatically create rosters at the click of a button.


Compliance begins with the rostering process, ensuring safety with inbuilt audit capabilities.  

What is demand-based rostering?

Our demand-based rostering feature will automatically roster the right number of staff based on predicted demand.