Problem: Meeting two objectives, in this case minimising cost and maximising employee satisfaction, in scheduling.
Many organisations staff their personnel
according to a number of non-overlapping daily shifts. Manufacturing plants, hospitals,
and banks usually have 2 or 3 shifts per day with pre-specified durations and starting
times. For example, a hospital might have 3 daily shifts, each 8 hours in length, with
8:00 am, 4:00 pm, and midnight as the starting times. In this model, you need to fill
these shifts at the lowest cost - which is to say, with minimal overstaffing.
Another consideration is that worker preferences for certain shifts should be satisfied as
much as possible. In fact, these may be not only preferences, but requirements under union
work agreements. Here's a two-stage model for this specific situation.
The objective is to minimise staffing costs for a single shift. The model creates the minimum cost schedule based on daily requirement figures, average cost per employee category, and the work patterns. It chooses the best out of all work patterns that meet the staffing requirements. It also specifies how many people to schedule according to each work pattern and, if desired, how many 'pool' people to hire on a temporary basis to satisfy requirements.
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