Resource Optimiser - Activity Based Planning Tools
The Resource Optimiser Tool enables the forward forecasting of labour requirements for all functions within Warehouse and Distribution Centre (DC) operations.
The tool also includes a labour management module to measure actual requirements against forecasts to continually improve labour forecasting and planning.
Based on a forecast of volume and specific operational rules the user can define labour requirements 12 months in advance at a headline level, which creates an output in the form of a staffing resource requirements plan.
The main objective is that the Warehouse Management team plan all aspects of resource ahead of time, then the plan becomes dynamic and reacts to actual events and re-forecasts operational status to the end of the shift / day and week based on actual events.
By producing a long term labour forecast the recruitment process can be managed efficiently and eliminates the need for immediate knee-jerk reaction in order to flex capability.
The Warehouse Management Team can manage structured and efficient recruitment cycles and ensure the best candidates are sourced and that the resource levels are managed and updated in line with actual requirements.
The strategic benefits are:
- Establishes a framework within which management operates and allows evaluation of the progress against plan.
- Several weeks / months of staffing requirements can be forecast to gauge seasonal or other expected impacts to the operation.
- Co-ordinates all shifts and sections to work to a single overall operational plan and parcels it out by shift.
- Re-aligns the plan based on actual information encompassing planned and unexpected impacts.
- Weekly plans are distributed to management 6 to 9 days in advance for all to review and for managers to identify shortfalls and excess resource for re-allocation.
- Managers and supervisors are responsible for reconciling volumes and hours used to the plan – accountability.
- Managers formulate work strategies together to meet weekly throughput goals within the framework created by the plan.
1. Recruitment Forecast module - This enables the forward calculation of recruitment requirement taking into account operational volume forecasts, performance data, headcount split (Full Time / Part Time / Temp) and can allow for trending of key elements as well as manual intervention to produce a 12 month rolling forecast including volume variation contingency
2. Labour Management Module - This is the nucleus of the toolset encompassing a detailed operational plan. The tool is a dynamic planning tool which updates based on real time information to provide a full operational plan by day / shift / function / operating section outputting real time status information and daily operational reporting. The labour tool allows for real time balancing of labour and activity within the DC.
A basic description of how the modules fit together to provide an overall operational management opportunity can be described as follows;
The Resource Optimiser Tool works at 2 levels:
Tactical – High level forward forecasting of labour requirements and recruitment needs up to 12 months in advance on a rolling 12-month basis.
Operational – Detailed weekly plan to enable the planning / management and reporting of all labour hours used within the DC operations.
The Resource Optimiser reports all levels of performance but also reports section rates (including direct & indirect hours) and direct and overall warehouse rates, as well as the usual functional rates. This can then move into reporting by cost as well.
Managers at all levels can see performance at any level from individual function performance to overall site performance through the integrated charts and reports within the Toolkit.
Currently under development is a toolset which will allow management reporting from the Toolkit to be viewed in the cloud using smart devices. This will allow high level management to view single or multi-site performance indicators from their smart device.
Additional Reporting Functionality/ Capability
Pick By Line – An hour-by-hour status plan for pick by line operations
Standards Evaluation – Based on some analysis can identify subtle changes in assignment breakdown of Assignments / Lines / Cases which make up picking activity and re-aling performance level expectations into the plan based on a specific daily workload mix: