Selecting and adapting weekly work schedules with working time accounts: a case of a retail clothing chain
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A case of selection and adaptation of weekly work schedules is presented. Weekly work schedules in two franchises of an important retail clothing chain have to be established. Working time accounts are used: each week, an employee can owe the company a certain number of hours or vice versa. Nevertheless, over a certain threshold, the hours have to be paid for by the company and the account balance returns to zero. A minimum and desired level of capacity of employees is contemplated. Hierarchically, the planned capacity must attempt to reach the minimum level; then it must fit a desired level as much as possible. At present, the task of allocation and the final adjustment of schedules is done manually, which is difficult, ineffective and often inaccurate. The procedure proposed is divided into two phases. Firstly, a work schedule, selected from a list, is assigned to each worker; a mixed linear program, followed by a local optimization process, is used. In the second phase, the work schedules are modified according to predefined rules: if there is a surplus of capacity, work schedules are reduced, and if there is a shortage, work schedules are extended. The company considers the results to be satisfactory.
CitationPastor, R.; Olivella, J. "Selecting and adapting weekly work schedules with working time accounts: a case of a retail clothing chain". European Journal of Operational Research, 2008, Vol. 184, No. 1, p. 1-12.