How to add padding or processing time to services

Sometimes, there will be a portion of the booking that doesn't require the client, or the staff member, to be present.

To account for this in the calendar we have two options:

Padding time

For parts of the booking where the staff member needs to be present, but not the client, you can use Padding time. This can be added to the beginning or end of a service and blocks the time out in the staff member’s calendar so another client can't be booked.

For example: If you need 15 minutes between each client to clean up and set up for the next client, you would add 15 minutes padding time to the end of every service. This ensures the staff member isn’t double-booked and the client isn’t hanging around for an unnecessary amount of time.

Processing time

Processing time creates a free space or gap after a service, which allows the staff member to see another client. This can only be added to the end of a service.
For example:  If you perform a series of services within an appointment, like a hair cut and colour, you may require some processing between the colour application and the wash, blow dry and cut. The client is still present in the salon, but you don't need to be working directly with them.
Neither padding or processing time are visible in the Calendar. Check out below How this looks in the Calendar.

In this guide, we'll cover: 

  1. Add padding time to a service.
  2. Add processing time to a service.
  3. Update existing bookings to new settings.
  4. How this looks in the Calendar.


Add padding time to a service

Timely assigns padding time to individual services because different services require more or less work before the next appointment.    
  1. Go to Setup > Services and click the Edit button on a chosen service.
  2. Set the Length of the service if you haven't already then click the Add padding and process times link: 

  3. In the padding time field, specify the number of minutes or hours of padding you need around the service: 

  4. This will default to Padding time, but you can select this from the drop down: 


Add processing time to a service

  1. Head to Setup > Services and click the Edit button next to the service: 

  2. Click the Add processing time link: 
  3. Enter the duration of the processing time.
  4. Select Processing time from the drop down: 

  5. Click Save to apply any changes.


Update existing bookings

When you update the settings of a service (including adding or adjusting padding time) it will only apply to any new appointments added to the calendar. You can manually update existing bookings so that they use the new settings: 
  1. Click Edit on the appointment.
  2. The booking will use the original service settings: 

  3. Select another service in the Service 1 list: 

  4. Then re-select the original service from the list: 

  5. Click Save to update the appointment to the new settings.

Tip: If you regularly perform multiple services together, these multi-service appointments may have different requirements when it comes to padding/processing time. You can adjust those requirements for those particular appointments, using Service Groups


How it looks in the Calendar

You can choose to make padding time visible on your calendar by going to Settings -> Calendar Settings, and then clicking the box 'Display appointment padding times on the calendar'. 

Padding time

In this first example you can see what the calendar looks like if you choose not to make padding time visible. The padding time will display as a calendar break between appointments. 

If you try and make a booking in a gap created by padding time the system will give you a double booking alert.If you make padding time visible your calendar will look like this, with padding time represented by a small bar at the end of each service.

Processing time

Processing time will create similar looking gaps, but you're able to make other bookings around them. In this example we've booked another cut and colour within the processing time of the first appointment:

Online bookings: We will factor in both padding and processing times for online bookings to ensure there is enough time between  appointments. For example, if a service has a length of 60 minutes and padding time of 15 minutes, Timely will reserve 75 minutes for that service.

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