Building schedules

Set up Account details

If you are assigned a Role of Schedulor then you will also have a Scheduling option on your dashboard. Schuedles are shared across your account with anyone else who also has the Schedulor role. Any configuration changes made by one user are visible to others.

To set up the basic configuration details for the account, select the Configuartion option.

Factors

Factors are what link Activities to a Location or "Site". Factors can either represent a Volume of activity such as No. of things processed, or number of customers etc. Or a Duration modifier, for example an activity's duration is affected by the size of the site, or the layout type of the site.

These types and the values associated to them become relevant when you define the Activities within a Scheudling Model. In the configuration you need to define the factors that are available for your Account. You just need to give them a name and maintain the list here.

Sites

Given that we are interested in the time for Activities at different locations, we need to list the available locations or "Sites".

Sites can be managed in a tree structure by adding either a Group or a Site into the tree. The top of the tree is the Account name. You can add Groups or Sites at any level.

You can also import sites from a spread sheet. To do this, you need to label the Factor values in row one and add values for each site. The factor labels must match the spelling in the Factors that have been set up under the Factors tab.

Sites and Groups can also be given a reference number, if present this will be used to set the order in which sites are displayed. Therefore when uploading data via a spreadsheet you must supply a column for the reference number and the site name. The reference number column can be left blank but it must be present.

If you have already defined your group structure, you can include groups in the spreadsheet upload, they must be in the first two columns and you must spell the group name correctly. So the following upload will load directly into the example Group structure shown.

If the group is not identified then the Sites will be loaded at whichever level of the tree you were in when you did the upload.

Roles

The last piece of the jigsaw for scheduling is allocting the time by Role, and therefore you will need to define the available Roles for the account.

Create scheduling models

In order to build your Model you will need to import some timing data. This is brought in via Reviews that have been generated in one or more Projects in your Account. To import data select the Import Review Data option.

Importing Data

Firstly you will be shown a list of available projects, you can filter the list using the filter. Select a project by Clicking on it. Only projects that contain a Review will be shown.

Next you will see the list of Reviews within that project, again you can use the filter to limit the list that you are shown. Click a review to add it to your list for Import.

You can remove a review from your import list by selecting the . When you are happy with your list, select the Import button.

If you import data for an activity that already exists in the Model, then the new data will be aggregated on the existing data, so your 'n' count will increase and your Average, Max and Min values may change. If you want to replace existing data with fresh timings, then delete the Activity from the model before doing your import.

The model will use the Average time of imported data as the timing values for those activities. The 'n' count represents the number of samples the model is basing it's average on, and this is shown on the Activity card:

If you hover over this, a popup will display the Average time in seconds of the activity, as well as the maximum sample time and minimum sample time.

In order for an Activity timing to be used in the model, it must be attached to at least one factor, which will describe how the activity should be applied to each Site location (it also needs to be assigned to a Role to carry out the activity, which is described later).

You can select multiple activities and assign a factor all at once , or select the Add button on an individual activity.

A factor can be of type D - Duration or V - Volume.

Volume Factors should be applied to Activities that represent a single instance of the given activity.

For example, if an Activity 'Get Product' has an average timing, and the total time that needs to be allocated for that activity is dependent on the number of Product Requests then a Factor should be added for Number of Product Requests which will be a Volume factor. The time allocated per site will be a straight calculation of the average time X No. of Product Requests per site.

Duration Factors should be applied to an Activity when a weighted time is required. If you add a Duration factor, you will also need to set a Model Baseline for the same factor.

For example, if an Activity 'Get Product' can vary in time based on a Factor 'Size of Warehouse', then you should assign the Baseline as the Average size of warehouse for the sample data that was used to calculate the average timings. Let's say it's 1000 sqr feet. Now, for each site when Get Product times are calculated, the time will be modified relative to the 1000 sqr. feet. For a site that is 1,500 sqr feet, the time will be adjusted by multiplying it by 1.5 (1500 ÷ 1000).

If you do not want a Duration factor to be applied on a One to One basis, then you can add a weighting to the Factor (see Weighting factors below) in order to skew the impact. Using the above example, if a Warehouse twice the size does not take twice as long, but rather on average 25% longer, then you can add a weighting of 0.25 to the Factor.

Weighting Factors

All Factors can have a Weighting added to them, by default the weighting is 1. Weightings will diminish or stregthen the impact of a factor. The timing adjustment generated by the factor will be modified by the weighting before being applied.

Scheduling Activities

When activities are added they are assumed to be Daily activities, but you can change these to be Weekly or Monthly instead. This will place the required time for this activity in the relevant table in the output.

Assign Roles

Once activities have been imported into your Model, you will need to assign those activities across the Roles defined in your configuration. This is done by assigning a percentage amount for each activity. An activity can be shared between roles, but the total percentage assigned should add up to 100% (you can assign more or less than 100% but this will lead to an underassignment or overassignment on time in the final schedule).

If you have a large number of activities, or large number of roles, you may want to create separate models for subsets of roles and the activities relevant to them in order for the data set up to be more manageable.

Choose Sites

You can choose the sites that will apply to the model. In this way you can create different models relevant to different parts of your estate (for example if trying to model some new acquisitions only).

To add sites to the model select the Add Sites option and then click the branch in your hierarchy that you wish to add. All sites below the selected branch will be added, so if you select the Account level then all sites in your configuration will be added.

Once sites have been added, if you want to override any of the factors you can do this by clicking on the site, or select multiple sites and select the Set Overrides button. This may be useful if you want to model potential future changes in some sites, without changing the underlying account level information per site.

Produce Schedules

Once you have populated all the relevant data (Activities, Roles and Sites) you can generate a Schedule by selecting the Generate Schedule option.

The system will then scan all the selected sites, applying the timing rates based on the entered factors for each Role, to produce Daily, Weekly and Monthly allocations per activity, per role, per location. This information can be exported into Excel for further anlaysis or use in other business processes.

If details in the model are changed the schedule does not automatically reflect these changes, after making changes re-run the schedule, Re-calculate Schedule, to see the changes applied.