During a recent roster analysis and design project we obtained feedback from a manager who stated, “I do not care what roster our employees work, as long as it does not cost us anything extra.” (famous last words)
If you only focus on the labour cost component of a roster, you are going to miss opportunities.
During our analyses of their shiftwork operations, we learned that several other items influenced what was an optimal solution for this continuous operation. For example, how well the roster fit the workload profile, company on costs, maintenance cycles, relief coverage, product quality and rework, employee absenteeism and correlation with supervision all provided opportunities to improve current arrangements and old rostering practices.
The company saved in excess of two million dollars per year by changing rosters with the added benefit of health and lifestyle improvements for employees.