Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2007

Abstract

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Workforce Staffing Optimizer (online tool, click to access)

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The Workforce Staffing Optimizer (WSO) is designed to help managers like you find the mix of different types of employees in hospitality settings that minimizes the overall staffing cost. This enables you to see if your mix of employees matches WSO's recommended current mix. The closer the match, the better you're probably managing your staffing needs. WSO also offers guidance as to the number of employees of each type that should be hired on a month-by-month basis. These decisions are the key to meeting seasonal demand changes in the best possible way. While WSO can be used in any environment, it is ideally suited to determining staffing mixes in environments with seasonal demand—it is in these environments that optimizing staffing can be particularly difficult.

As inputs, the WSO requires information on the number of employee types (where types might be such things as full-time, part-time, and contract employees). For each employee type, WSO requires information on the employees' productivity, hiring and termination costs, and attrition rates. For each month in the planning horizon, you must also specify the aggregate number of full-time-equivalent employees that will be necessary to meet forecast customer demand.

As outputs, the WSO identifies the number of employees of each type that should be hired and terminated each month. It also presents the overall cost of the staffing plan, the cost by month of the recommended plan, and the number of each type employee that are expected to be working each month.

WSO is a web-based tool that allows you to create, evaluate, and save different scenarios. This enables you to determine the effect on performance of such things as changing the available types of employees (using or not using contract employees, for example), changing the employee retention rates, and changing the employee productivity levels. We include a sample scenario, so that you can see how WSO works without having to first enter data.

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