Auto-Scheduling

Updated on April 18, 2018

With a single click, Auto-Scheduling will build you the perfect shift structure from scratch, then fill it with the right people to best match your scheduling priorities.

This guide will walk you through how to set your business up with Auto-Scheduling.

Getting Started

To use Auto-Scheduling you’ll need to set up your demand signals (referred to as Metrics in the product), and ensure you add or import enough data for Auto-Scheduling to predict your labour demands.

Setting up your demand signals should be a one-off task, though you may need to update them or adjust your Required Staff recipes over time to ensure Auto-Scheduling continues to work for the changing needs of your business.

Auto-Scheduling Button

auto_scheduling_button

The Auto button combines the two key functions that make up Auto-Scheduling, Auto-Build (creating optimal empty shift structures) and Auto-Fill (filling your empty schedule with the right people for every shift).

You can also access each of the functions individually by clicking the drop down menu.

Once you have your business set up with Auto-Scheduling, you can simply click this button to create and fill your schedule.

Adding and Editing Metrics

Add Metrics

Auto-Scheduling uses artificial intelligence to build you the best shift structure for your business, based on as many metrics (demand signals) as you require. Put simply, a demand signal is anything that affects how many people you need working at any given time.

To add and view your metrics, click ‘Statistics’ on the Schedule page and a list will appear above your list of employees.

Auto Scheduling - Demand Signals View

To add metrics, scroll to the bottom of your list of variables and click ‘Add Metric’ as seen in the image below:

add_metric

When you click Add Metric, a ‘Metric Configuration’ window will appear.

Here you can edit key details about your metric. Like the name, data type (unit or $Amount), the colour as it appears in the Statistics section, and select which time period you want to use to inform your demand prediction (All-time, Last 2/4/6/12 Periods, Same Period as Last Year).

Using the same period last year allows you to account for the staffing impact of one off, major events, like the big games or public holidays.

Edit Metrics

To edit any of your metrics or add/import data associated with the metric, click on the metric you would like to edit. In this example, we will edit ‘Staff Required’.

After you click the metric, a new modal (pop up window) will open.

demand_modal

From here, you can manually add values associated with each metric like in a spreadsheet, or import from previous dates or CSV/Excel files.

Using artificial intelligence, Auto-Scheduling will analyse the data from multiple demand signals, like sales, foot traffic numbers, and table bookings, to accurately forecast how many staff you need need for each hour of the day.

When adding data you you’ll need to add it in hourly or 15 minute blocks.

Import Data From Date

The import from Date option allows you to import average values from previous schedules. You can use the average values from the past week, fortnight, or the past 6 weeks.

import_from_date

Import Data from File

Import from File allows you to add data associated with the metric from Excel/CSV files. To download a sample file, click here.

import_file

Build (Required Staff builder)

Using the Required Staff builder (click the Build button), you can determine the exact number of staff to schedule in each area, based on the total of your demand signals. We call these ‘Required Staff recipes’.  Building your Required Staff recipe means any schedule created is completely optimised for your specific business and scheduling needs.

Auto-Scheduling with use AI to cross-reference this data to get more accurate and specific staff numbers. An example for this is for every 4 sales made per hour, we will need 2 managers, 2 baristas, and 3 kitchen workers, as seen in the image below.

demand_build

Bulk Update

The bulk update option allows you to increase and decrease numbers across the spreadsheet via percentages.

bulk_update

Hourly/15 Mins Toggle

This option allows you to see and enter data in hourly or 15-minute intervals. The below is an example of the window in an hourly view.

hourly_view

While the below is an example of the 15-minute view. Please note that after clicking ’15 Mins’ there may be a delay due to the spreadsheet rendering.

15minsview

Metric Configuration

This option allows you to edit minor demand signal options. To find this option, click the cog icon next to the signal name.

config

Here you can change the name of the metric and the colour of the line as it appears in the Statistics bar. You can also change the time period of the demand prediction, looking at previous predictions from:

  • All Time
  • Last 2/4/6/12 Periods
  • Same Period as Last Year

metric_config Save Changes

Please remember to save all of your changes via the blue button at the corner of the modal. To save the metric you are viewing to the entire week, click the drop-down menu and click ‘Save to current weekly view’.

save_changes

 

Once you have set up your demand signals, added data

Auto-Build Shift Structure

Using data from each of your demand signals and your Required Staff recipes, Auto-Scheduling will build you the optimum shift structure (a series of blank unassigned shifts in assigned areas with start/end times).

Clicking Auto-Build allows you to control the preferences associated with executing the Auto-Build process. To access this menu, click the ‘Auto’ drop-down menu and select ‘Auto-Build Shift Structure’.

auto_build_shift_structure

A modal will open that will allow you to edit settings in depth.

Preferred Shift Lengths

In this box, you can enter the ideal lengths of the shifts created by Auto-Scheduling. Please note that the order of shift lengths will dictate the priority of shifts.

preferred_shift_lengths

Base Model

Base model refers to the primary logic you would like Auto-Scheduling to use when developing your schedules. You can select one of three options:

  • Required Staff – Looks at your Required Staff metric to determine number of employees scheduled in an area (most common)
  • Learn from past worked hours – Checks for previously logged shifts in your areas
  • Minimum Coverage – Looks at opening and closing times and ensures that there’s always an employee working in each area from open until close.

base_model

Starting Hour Block

Allows you to select whether employee shift times can start on hourly, 30 minute or 15-minute intervals.

starting_hour_block

Build Shifts

This button will create empty shifts based on your metrics and the other preferences added to the ‘Auto Build Shift Structure’ modal.

build_shifts

Auto-Fill Empty Shifts

Please note that this function will only fill EMPTY shifts. It will not automatically fill OPEN shifts. 

Once you have your shift structure, Auto-Scheduling can then go about filling it with the best person for every shift, based on your scheduling priorities.

To access the Auto-Fill option, click the ‘Auto’ button and click Auto-Fill Empty Shifts.

auto_fill

A pop-up window will appear. From here, you can select your Auto-Fill preferences.

Cost

  • Keep cost as low as possible – This option will ensure that the generated schedule will take into consideration employee cost.

Equal Hours

  • Try to provide equal hours for everybody – Selecting this will take into account the hours each employee is scheduled for and will attempt to keep hours equal.

Learn From Me

  • Learn my preferences from past schedules – This option will look at the previous instances where you have selected the auto-fill function and will preference shifts based on what it has learned from the past.

How long do you want to wait?

This drop-down will give you three options:

  • A minute or less (for a good result)
  • A few minutes (for a better result)
  • As long as it takes (grab a coffee, we’ll find the near optimum result)

As explained, each option is more in-depth than the previous option.

Advanced Recipes **FOR ADVANCED USERS**

advanced_autofill_recipes

This box allows you to create more articulate parameters behind the autofill process. For example, the following ‘recipe’ ensures salaried employees work between 40 and 45 hours per week, and makes sure that employees aren’t scheduled during early morning and late afternoon regardless of stress profile.

{"scorers":[{"type":"employee_totals","score":10,"params":{"employee_property_name":"Agreement.ContractObject.BasePayRuleObject.RemunerationType","employee_property_match":"2","employee_property_match_type":"eq","compare_value":40,"compare_type":"ge","compare_total":"TotalTime"}},{"type":"employee_totals","score":-20,"params":{"employee_property_name":"Agreement.ContractObject.BasePayRuleObject.RemunerationType","employee_property_match":"2","employee_property_match_type":"eq","compare_value":45,"compare_type":"ge","compare_total":"TotalTime"}},{"type":"field_matches","score":0,"name":"morning_shifts","params":[{"field":"Shift.StartTimeQ.Hour","data":12,"type":"lt"}]},{"type":"field_matches","score":0,"name":"late_shifts","params":[{"field":"Shift.StartTimeQ.Hour","data":18,"type":"ge"}]},{"type":"overlap","score":-10,"params":{"rules":["morning_shifts","late_shifts"],"column":"Shift.Employee"}}]}

For more assistance with advanced recipes, click here.
To begin the auto-fill process, select your preferences and click ‘Auto Fill Shifts’.

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