Personnel planning at the push of a button

08.04.2019 | Coordinating the efficient deployment of personnel is a particular challenge for every company in the logistics sector. In rail freight transport, this task is even more extensive. Complex regulations, schedule changes due to construction sites and unexpected staff shortages have so far meant that personnel managers need a lot of time for the planning process. Time that is lacking elsewhere. A new module from zedas®cargo, the specialist for rail logistics management, optimizes and automates the entire personnel deployment process.

Early assembly at a container railway station: It's busy because the goods in the large containers have to be loaded onto freight wagons quickly. Here a cogwheel reaches into the next one so that the train rolls in the truest sense of the word. If delays, staff shortages or timetable adjustments occur, action must be taken quickly and staff deployment adjusted. Until now, this has been a time-consuming undertaking for those responsible. Availability and suitability must be checked quickly and the personnel services must be revised. This is now much more effective because a new standard plug-in for zedas®cargo, ZEDAS GmbH's software product for rail freight transport, now offers personnel planning at the push of a button. The planning rules on the basis of which the shift plan is automatically created are already stored in the standard system. However, the rules can be individually configured at any time. Experiences from optimization projects show that the number of rule-compliant rounds and services is higher due to automation than with manual planning.

Automatic Duty Scheduling

Complex automation tasks and decision-making processes can only be solved effectively by means of IT and mathematics. For this reason, the Opti Planner focuses on intelligent algorithms that solve quantitative optimization tasks, especially in the area of resource planning. The planning tasks in rail freight transport are very complex due to many rules that have to be taken into account. In addition, planning has to be adapted quickly due to unexpected failures or changes. With the new solution from zedas®cargo, the planning process for personnel deployment is not only automated, but also optimized. This is a real gain in efficiency. All services are independently determined and assigned by the software in accordance with legal and collective bargaining regulations. The software calculates alternative planning proposals for a quick reaction to operational events. Personnel planners and dispatchers demonstrably benefit from time relief. All resources are used in a balanced and efficient manner, taking into account interdependencies. In addition, the satisfaction of the personnel is significantly increased by the uniform division of services.

In the demanding optimization of personnel deployment, a large number of resources must be allocated to services within a short period of time. All hard and soft suitability factors, such as availability, rest periods, qualifications and distance customer must be taken into account. These are all things that dispatchers today often look for in several sources or have in mind.

Personnel deployment plan can be called up at any time

An advantage of the Opti Planner is that solutions are available at any time and not only at the end of an optimization run. So you can follow changes directly on the screen. But how does it work in detail? First the Opti Planner takes the data from zedas®cargo and starts the desired personnel planning. The program tries to continuously improve the shift planning. If a result is called up in between, the software displays the best solution at the time. If the intermediate result is already suitable, the optimization run can be aborted. All plans and results can also be postprocessed manually after the personnel plan has been determined. A simple user interface finally displays the results clearly. Historical data can be used to simulate and evaluate changes in the effects of individual rules and rule combinations.

Through the automatic and optimally designed planning of personnel deployment, employees are deployed more economically and more evenly. They can react quickly and calmly to unscheduled changes, such as the loss of a locomotive driver.


Further information about our solution zedas®cargo can be found here.