Responding to the day-to-day operating demands of a shiftwork operation does not always leave managers with spare time for analyses, research, comparisons and creative thinking for roster design. Shiftwork Solutions is often asked to review existing operations and provide analyses of potential roster solutions.
Recently, we were asked to eliminate an existing operational bottleneck by developing seven-day continuous roster options that would increase production. In the end, we eliminated the bottleneck, but not in the way this company anticipated. We recommended not changing their current roster.
Even though roster reviews typically come with suggested opportunities to investigate as potential solutions, the review process needs to be open and investigate and measure all contenders. By analysing workload, equipment utilisation and labour costs we showed that rostering more hours a week was not the best answer in this case. We demonstrated that a more economical solution was achieved by increasing equipment capabilities.
Not every shiftwork solution leads to a new roster.