Regardless of the industry, effective management and scheduling of any workforce presents many challenges.
Global organisations with larger workforces are likely using a combination of full-time, contract, and casual employees, often based in multiple locations and subject to different regulations, policies, processes and cultural values.
Industry workers are generally required to be onsite and work a variety of shifts to cover all hours of the day, which come with compliance standards and requirements such as mandated rest periods and meal breaks. Different sites also have varied safety requirements, which can attract costly violation penalties.
Planners managing a FIFO workforce face challenges such as connecting commercial flights with charter flights, delivering best utilisation of travel and accommodation options, and deciding when and where more options are needed. Empty seats on planes and empty beds due to poor management is highly ineffective and expensive.
For those industries that are heavily reliant on contractor workforces, another common struggle is accessing regular employees with specialist skills.
Port operators often face challenges in the rostering and scheduling of marine pilots to pilot large vessels in and out of major industrial ports. Scheduling pilots for the maritime industry is highly complex and subject to numerous regulations. Each pilot’s licence limits them to operating vessels of certain sizes, they can only work a maximum number of hours/shift and night shifts/roster to manage fatigue, and the vessel schedule may also be impacted by port restrictions such as tidal constraints.
All of these scheduling problems can be solved with technology and advanced data analytics.
With Industry 4.0, we are seeing many organisations across multiple industries undergoing digital transformations in order to use technology to optimise processes and implement greater efficiencies across all areas of business. And, when you add up the rescheduling administration costs, the mismatched numbers of workers to assets, the travel, catering, and non-compliance penalties, the potential savings and benefits are obvious to effectively managing a workforce.
Polymathian have used Industrial Mathematics to solve some of the most difficult crew scheduling and rostering optimisation problems for some of the largest companies in Australia and internationally. Our maritime industry decision support software, SOLO, being deployed to optimise allocation of pilots to vessel movements to reduce pilot fatigue and ensure safer operations.
It is critical that organisations running complex systems employ sophisticated management tools to ensure they are making the best decisions. As decisions become more and more reliant on accessing answers quickly, optimisation is the obvious path.
For more information on SOLO or any of our products, contact us.