What information does an AI consider when auto-scheduling a rota?

Jun 28, 2023

A frequently asked inquiry when talking about our AI auto-scheduling system is, What information does an AI consider when auto-scheduling a rota?”

What sources does the AI auto-scheduling tool use?

The AI usually obtains its data from the workforce management system. Keeping the data within your workforce management software is optimal for a few reasons:

  • There are procedures in place to make sure the data is current.
  • The WFM system is a storehouse of electronic versions of the business procedures that your company employs to organize employee scheduling and time and attendance.

The idea that efficiency is the key to success is one that is widely accepted, with many companies striving to find ways to do more with less. This concept of becoming more efficient has become an integral part of the business world as they strive to conserve resources while still producing quality results. Enhancing efficiency has become a major focus for many companies that are looking for ways to complete tasks in less time and with fewer resources.

The AI will have some information that is exclusive to it; generally, this information is restricted to “weightings”, “fairness” and other directions necessary for it to schedule the rota.

What information does an AI consider when auto-scheduling a rota

How does the AI obtain the data it needs?

Once you hit auto-schedule, the AI sends out an alert to finalise the roster, thus preventing any additional modifications to the information. Afterwards, the AI asks for a “payload” of data from the Workforce Management system, which is basically a current version of all the details it requires to generate that roster.

The AI generates a rota, which is then communicated back to the Workforce Management system. This system then populates the rota and makes it accessible for edits.

The time it takes to process a rota depends on the intricacy, number of employees, number of sites and much more, it can range from a few seconds to a few minutes.

Does an ideal rota exist?

The AI Scheduling engine we have built will generate a schedule ideal to your requirements. It may be difficult to find a single answer that meets all of your labour demand, your funds, and employee availability, so the best fit may be determined by the weighted values we used to operate the AI.

When planning a rota, what information does the AI take into account?

The AI examines all the same aspects that a human manager would take into account.

The following aspects must be taken into consideration:

Prioritisation: This data enables us to set up all the prioritisation for the AI. Is it more essential to stick to the budget than to meet the need for each position? If this is the case, we assign a higher weight to the budget. For specific elements, such as Working Time Directive compliance, we will weigh it to make sure no rota can be built that is not compliant. Defining the weightings is the central component of our exploration and execution procedure for AI automated scheduling and is how we guarantee that the rotas our AI builds meet your company’s requirements.

Compliance: ShopWorks stores regulations and other related guidelines in its compliance component. AI algorithms have been adjusted to guarantee that no rota is ever generated with a breach of WTD rules.

Complying with role-based rules: The AI can be programmed to guarantee everyone is abiding by role-based regulations. For instance, a first aid attendant is required to be present when the business is open and functioning.

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Number of staff needed per role: When building a rota, it is crucial to know how many staff members you need for each role in 15, 30 or 60 minute slots. This is referred to as a demand curve. Weights can be adjusted to increase customer service or manage costs more efficiently. If our Demand.Ai is employed, it will generate two curves at a certain probability, and the Scheduling.Ai will then decide which curve to use, either the upper or lower, based on your preferences. As an example, if we estimate the required number of cashiers between 10:00 am and 11:00 am on a Saturday with a 97.5% probability, our AI could determine that you need between 10 and 11 cashiers. If you have asked us to optimise the rotas for customer service, and that is your goal, then the AI will schedule 11 cashiers.

Budgetary Allocation: The AI can fetch the staff budget from ShopWorks and measure the total cost of a rota it has constructed vs. your budget.

Minimum Staff Requirements: Even if the customer demand may not necessitate it, your rules may stipulate that a minimum of two employees are present when the store is open. This information should be incorporated into the AI.

Skill Competence: Prior to constructing a rota, we should think about if the individual has the relevant qualifications for the job or shift.

Position level: Does the individual have the necessary rank to perform the duties, such as an assistant manager or handling store openings?

Duties and Responsibilities: At ShopWorks, there can be many duties during a shift that can be matched to abilities. Our algorithm will assign these shifts to the personnel who are most qualified to fulfil the shift. Scheduling.Ai must guarantee that you have the necessary amount of proficient people present to finish all the tasks available.

Already Scheduled Shifts: The data sent includes the hours previously planned and won’t replace them.

Vacations and absences pre-booked: As soon as any leave has been arranged and accepted using ShopWorks, the AI will build the schedule based on it and will not schedule those who are on leave or unavailable.

Schedule rules: To offer some amount of regularity to the week, it’s recommended to begin all the shifts in a week within a few hours of one another, such as having early and late shifts.

Shift Length: The AI must be aware of the longest and shortest duration of shifts.

Pay Regulations: The AI must be aware of all the pay regulations to compute the exact cost of any shift that runs into overtime or necessitates a premium payment.

Working hours: Our AI is very precise about ensuring that all the contracted hours are fulfilled before any overtime is allowed.

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Operating Hours: The AI retrieves the daily opening and closing times for each department from ShopWorks.

Overtime Working Hours: These are rules about the extent of overtime that can be provided, the duration of a single shift, etc.

Staff Preferences: Our availability application allows staff members to specify their desired hours, and our AI will attempt to meet these needs in an equitable way without any prejudice against any group of employees.

Employee Availability: ShopWorks contains an Availability module that the AI gives more priority than the staff preferences. Thus, if you specify an employee is not available on a Sunday, the AI will not put them into the rota. Consequently, many of our customers favour having managerial input in regard to employee availability.

Unique Regulations (Union): A variety of enterprises have established regulations that are beyond the WTD directive laws that are exclusive to them. As an example, we have customers who have agreed that each employee is entitled to two consecutive days off weekly. The AI takes this into consideration when building a rota.

Fairness: the AI will distribute unsocial and overtime shifts fairly.

Bespoke criteria: As the listed elements demonstrate, the AI takes multiple important elements into account. If you recognize something is absent, often we are able to include it during the setup stage. Every implementation of auto-scheduling is tuned and tested to be distinct for each customer.


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