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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

Creating Next Year's Rota

Thursday, 08 November 2018 17:32

 

Every year you need to create next year’s rota. So, every year you need to sit down and try to remember how you created last year’s rota.

It’s not easy to recall after a year. So, C-Desk Technology has created a video to help you. Full of useful hints and tips, it’s a step-by-step guide to creating next year’s rota.

There are two examples in this video. One is for a holidays excluded shift pattern with six people. It is a six-week shift pattern using both 8 and 12-hour shifts. The shift pattern repeats over six week and this is used to create a rolling shift pattern.

The other example is a holidays included shift pattern with annualised hours. It is set up for one year and has a 365-day rotation. In this example you can see how to rotate the shifts each year so that the same people are not always working Christmas, and everyone gets different weeks off each year.

This is designed as a training video for our clients who use VisualrotaX to manage their shift patterns. We hope that this video will save you time each year and help you create a full shift pattern for the year in minutes instead of hours.

 

 

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.

 

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