Party City’s Schedule Management Secret

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Party City is known for two things: party supplies and their affinity for Halloween. With those two dedications, there tends to be waves of seasonal employees looking for a temporary way to make a little extra money during the Halloween season.

There’s a nature of whimsy that comes with any Party City location, and that’s reflected through both the punchy merchandise and the constant energy of its employees.

We sat down and talked to Party City GM Curtis Bowman: an expert of Party City at all levels – he started working there when he was in high school, and has assumed a wide range of positions and ascending the ranks before finally becoming a GM. Simply put, Curtis understands the needs and requirements of employees at his store because he’s been in their shoes before.

Curtis’ Favorite Shyft Features

  • Private Groups and Channels for broadcasting announcements
  • Photo schedule upload and import for sharing the schedule
  • Direct Messaging & Chat without sharing phone numbers
  • Team Feed for storewide communication

Humble Beginnings

We asked Bowman about the first contact he’d had with Shyft, and he shared with us: “The first time I saw Shyft specifically, it was actually a Facebook ad – and I thought ‘oh, that would be awesome.’ Then I don’t have to worry about throwing this pen and paper around anymore, and they can get it right on their phone. As soon as I saw that, I got right on it.”

One of the things Shyft takes the most pride in is the ease of use – Curtis explained to us that the straightforward interface made it especially easy to pick up on and decide to implement into his location.

“We had a two week period where myself and my assistant manager tested it, making fake days for each other to cover to see how everything works, and it was pretty quick.” Curtis elaborated.

“When I rolled it out with employees, I think within the first or second week, they were using all the options like plugging their days in or asking people to pick up shifts or trying to get more hours.”

Everyday Implementation

The implementation of Shyft into his scheduling process has made it easy for employees to have a pocket-bound schedule and has effectively reduced schedule-related stress- whether it be requesting, swapping, or dropping shifts, all a manager has to do is approve the shift swap and go.

Shyft makes sure that all shift swaps comply with government regulations – meaning that a manager doesn’t have to do the math on employee hours in his head, and instead, can simply open the app and confirm the shift change.

“In a position like this, it’s a revolving door of employees.  Typically, high school kids, it’s their first job,” Said Bowman. “Anytime I can use technology to help me out with that, it’s a huge help.” 

Wearable Tech: The New Frontier

It’s not just limited to handheld tech either – Bowman and other employees at his Party City location have implemented wearable technology in their day-to-day. Bowman was a recent adopter of the smartwatch concept, and has owned Pebbles and FitBits – and recently invested in an Apple Watch.

When asked about Shyft in relation to wearable technology, Bowman excitedly shared an experience of a co-worker who’d implemented Shyft’s smartwatch technology into the workplace:

“My assistant has had her smartwatch for a while and has gotten the Shyft notifications and she’s been able to do it just fine.”

Being able to stay on top of competitors is important in such a dynamic and constantly-changing market is imperative for any chains success, and by implementing the premiere shift-swapping technology into their location, Bowman shows initiative and tenacity – and a deeply ingrained interest in making sure that Party City thrives.

Taking Advantage of Shyft

Overall, this Party City location benefitted from Bowman’s intrinsic motivation to seek out an easier way to manage employee schedules using Shyft due to these key features:

  • The easy-to-pick-up interface
  • A clear, portable schedule
  • The integration of wearable technology and Shyft

Curtis is most definitely an advocate for technological advances in the workplace: “One of the benefits that we have here, at my location, versus some of our sister stores that have older management that really isn’t in touch with technology is that they can’t really take advantage of these things in the way that we are.”

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