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If you require further information on any of our services please do not hesitate to contact us by telephone or e-mail. All enquiries are extremely welcome.

T: 01636 816 466
E: alec@oranalysts.com

The Old Vicarage
Station Road, Rolleston
Newark
Notts
NG23 5SE                              

Operational Research

You can always be more efficient

Operational Research is all about using analysis to improve decision making. Dr Angela Moore uses mathematical modeling, statistical analysis, optimisation, sequencing and scheduling techniques to create simple heuristics you can employ to run your operation more efficiently.

angelamoore@visualrota.co.uk

Blog

Banked Hours

Saturday, 04 August 2018 09:09

 

Banked Hours are a flexible working technique designed to improve shift workers work/life balance and ensure that the operation runs smoothly. They are more efficient than many absence management techniques, ensure continuity of operations and cover for training.

Any shift manager should consider using Banked Hours to improve their operation. Banked Hours often lead to a reduction is costs, improved efficiency and less work for managers. Therefore, they are a very popular technique for managers to adopt.

However, making managers’ lives easier and saving the company money will rarely hold any sway with shift workers. Therefore, when introducing Banked Hours, it is important to stress the benefits for the shift workers too:

  • Extra paid time off
  • Less working time
  • Less stress
  • Easier work
  • Planned cover arrangements
  • Flat pay to help with budgeting
  • Golden Days
  • Guaranteed training
  • Guaranteed days off
  • Guaranteed holidays
  • Fairness
  • Not being contacted by work on days off
  • Not being over worked
  • More weekends off
  • Pre-arranged cover for absent collogues
  • Improved work/life balance

banked hours bookIf you would like to find out more about Baked Hours we have a new edition to our book Banked Hours available on Kindle. It is packed with examples of how Banked Hours can improve your operation. It describes how to introduce banked Hours, how to ensure the operation works for you. How to calculate the number of Banked Hours you will need. How to operate a fair system and avoid bias, favouritism and nepotism.

There is even a chapter on union negotiations.  Outlining the positions of both sides and how to bring in a Banked Hours system that benefits both sides.

This book is for shift managers, union representatives and anyone who would like to examine working on a Banked Hours operation. It is very important to understand why Banked Hours is being used and how it can benefit you.

Available at Amazon UK for £7.69

Available at Amazon.com for $10

 

Why managing shifts is like managing a football team?

Monday, 25 June 2018 09:24

 

You may not realise how similar a shift operation is to a football team. You will notice that in football 11 players are out there on the pitch during a game but there are generally 30 or so players available to be picked for each game. So why do they need so many players? Why not just have 11 excellent players and just use them for every game?

In football, not all of the players can play every game, this is because of risk of injury, fatigue etc. Hence there is a large ratio of available players to people who are out there on the pitch. The same is true for shift workers. On any shift, not all of the workers will be there. In a 24/7 operation generally there would be about one fifth of the shift workers on at anytime.

Nor can the manager play his best players in most games. They need to be spread out. There are several reasons for this, but the main one is that every member of the team needs to be able to play with every other team member. To do this, they need to play regularly with everyone. Otherwise you may be playing in the World Cup and hesitate at a crucial moment because you don’t know your team mates as well as you should.  

Therefore the manager doesn’t choose to have the best players in every game, his aim is to have a consistent level of skill to ensure that the team scores better over the season than if you had all of your best players in every games.

The same is true for shift working. First, everyone needs to work with, and be familiar with, everyone else to ensure continuity of service and work. Second, each shift should have a good distribution of skill, so that the most skilled are not all in one team and the least skilled in another.

This is because you will make more money through a consistent level of service, than a random service, depending on which shift is scheduled to be on.

Third, everyone has holidays, everyone gets sick. When this happens, you don’t want the operation to suffer. Especially as it will be a frequent problem. So make sure that all of the shift workers can work together, just like a premier football team, to ensures the best operation possible.

If you would like to know more about improving your shift operation, please contact us today.

 

Holiday Management

Wednesday, 13 June 2018 14:56

Holidays are very important to everyone. They are not just about time off, they are about time with family and friends, and about having control over one's life. Because holidays are so important, they need to be managed, and managed well.

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When we talk about managing holidays, you need to think about continuity of operations, so that the work is not affected by the absence. You also need to think about equality and fairness. So that everyone has an equal chance of taking good quality time off.

When it comes to managing holidays, there are two solutions. The most common is to create a holiday management plan. So first you need to ask yourself how will you cover for holidays? Will you run short, will you bring people in, will you use overtime? Then you can work out how many people you can allow off at any time. Then you will know when you can grant a holiday request, when you can deny a request and most important, when you need to push people to take their holidays. A typical example could be “first come first served with up three people allowed off on any shift”.

The alternative to a holiday management plan, is that you create a holidays included operation. This is where all of the holidays are planned in advance and scheduled for everybody. This results in a planned approach to holidays where everyone is rostered off in turn. The main advantage that everybody gets guaranteed time off. Both employees and managers have to exert zero effort in order to get good quality time off for everyone. A good example of this is teachers who have their holidays in school holidays and they can't take holidays at any other time. This way they take their holidays when they are not needed.

If you would like to know more about how to manage holidays then we have an ebook Holiday Management available from Amazon and another ebook on Holidays Included also available from Amazon. We also have a video about Holiday Management.

Or you can contact us directly and discuss how you would like your operation to run in the future.

We have created holiday management plans for companies around the world. Why not improve your operation and efficiency by seeing if your current operation needs a new holiday management plan?

 

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