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The benefits of proper scheduling


In many sectors, scheduling is a cumbersome task, which in many cases is still done manually.  This lack of sophisticated and high-quality scheduling can result in serious costs and operational risks and could potentially be a serious competitive disadvantage.   In this blog, we will try to give an overview of all the benefits a top-notch scheduling system can bring.

In many sectors, scheduling is a cumbersome task, which in many cases is still done manually. The companies that have invested in some kind of automated scheduling tool are rare to find and even those companies still do a lot of manual optimizations on the schedules proposed by the system (as the quality of the proposed schedule is sub-optimal, due to bad quality input data or even a bad scheduling algorithm). This lack of sophisticated and high-quality scheduling can result in serious costs and operational risks and could potentially be a serious competitive disadvantage. Many companies still underestimate the many benefits associated with state-of-the-art scheduling.

In this blog, we will try to give an overview of all the benefits a top-notch scheduling system can bring:

  • HR Benefits (Improved employee experience)
    • Keep your employees motivated by recognition from the management, i.e. good scheduling avoids frustration and creates a feeling of involvement and belonging (i.e. give employees the feeling they play a more active role in their work experience), while a sloppy scheduling can have bad consequences on your employees and leaving the company can be one of them.
    • Compliance with social laws, like required rest time, maximum driving times, maximum number of hours worked per day…​
    • Convenience, i.e. thanks to user-friendly “self-service” apps, employees can consult their schedule at any moment, be notified of any updates and initiate certain requests (like days-off) themselves. This type of self-service apps are crucial for:
      • People who are not often at the office and travel a lot will find it difficult to consult and update schedules only accessible in the office (often still on paper at many companies).
      • Such an app gives a sense of freedom and avoids the awkward feeling of having to ask (“beg”) for certain days-off (or other scheduling requests) to your manager.
      • It gains a lot of time via a frictionless and user-friendly way of initiating, validating and processing a request and this both for the employee as for the manager.
      • It avoids manual errors, like a manager misunderstanding a request and scheduling the wrong day off.
    • Giving the option to employees to initiate certain scheduling requests can be considered as a real HR employee benefit, which can have a low cost for the company. This can be handled in the form of a virtual budget that can be spent for making requests. Every approved request debits this budget, while the budget gets credited on a recurring basis (as a sort of salary) and/or on an exceptional basis (to reward excellent contributions of the employee). Obviously it will be important that the scheduling system tries to take a maximum of requests into account to avoid employees getting the feeling they get an empty/useless gift when they are rewarded with extra virtual budget (i.e. you will not create a positive motivation to an employee by rewarding additional virtual budget, when he/she still has a very big balance left, which he/she is not able to consume anyway).
    • Optimally plan time for training, allowing to invest in your employees in a fair way and avoid that certain busy (highly demanded) employees cannot get trained, which ultimately leads to demotivation.
    • Avoid overtime and maximizing time with families into account
    • Allow to evolve employees in their career path, by gradually assigning them more complex tasks and tasks slightly outside of their comfort zone. By doing this in a gradual way, it ensures that people can improve without getting demotivated and overstressed when they are assigned with tasks too far out of their skill set and costs of bad or inefficient jobs can be limited. Most employees will appreciate this “journey” of increasing their competences, as it allows them to keep their job interesting, without ever getting the feeling of being asked things they are not capable of.

A good approach to scheduling can deliver HR, ecological, customer , revenue, cost and operational benefits to any organization.

  • Ecology: good scheduling means that resources are deployed in the most efficient way, which has obviously positive ecological consequences, e.g.
    • Avoiding less efficient (polluting) back-up solutions, e.g. scheduling the maintenance of energy production units should be done in such a way that the polluting (gas-based) back-up solutions are needed as little as possible
    • Reducing the number of kilometres driven by optimally defining trajectories (e.g. ensuring the different delivery points are scheduled in the best possible way), but also avoiding that resources have to come to work for only a few hours (thus avoiding the commute) or avoiding empty near-empty vehicles (e.g. airplanes, trucks…​)
    • By optimally deploying all resources, less machinery or less vehicles are needed. This reduces unnecessary consumption, which ultimately is a gain for the environment.
  • Customer service: a good scheduling will ultimately also have a positive impact on the quality of the service delivered to the customer (thus increasing customer satisfaction), e.g.
    • Allocating the right profile to the right job, results in a better quality of the delivered work.
    • Take into account the risk of churn of a customer by allocating the best (most senior) resource to those customers
    • Creation of robust schedules allowing to minimize the ripple effect on the entire schedule due to any unexpected (last-minute) changes in the schedule (like illness of employees, broken machinery or vehicles, last-minute increase in sales, last-minute cancellations…​). Such robust schedules can result in less delays, less cancellations, less down-times…​
      Additionally the scheduling solution should be able to rapidly provide rescheduling options, which minimize the impact for the customers and minimally update the existing schedule, which has already been approved and communicated to the employees a number of weeks in advance .

'almost all organizations have scheduling problems'

  • Revenue generation: a good schedule allows also to generate more revenue by
    • Allowing to take on more jobs, due to the optimizations, i.e. more work can get done with same number of resources
    • Focusing on the most valuable tasks first
    • Resolving understaffed shifts
  • Cost-savings (become more cost-efficient):
    • Reduce the inefficient usage of resources, e.g. underused material/vehicles, need for paying employees overtime (which is really expensive), overstaffed shifts…​
      As the payroll cost is often the largest expense of an organisation, it is important to balance those payroll costs and max out staff utilization via a good scheduling.
    • Save time of the person in charge of creating the roster/schedule
    • Putting the right person on the right task, with the right equipment, at the right time, can also save a lot of costs. E.g. why schedule your senior expert employee on a simple task that can be done by everyone or schedule resources with little experience to complex tasks that might take them 2-3 times more time than a more experienced employee.
  • Operational risk:
    • An effective scheduling solution allows to communicate the schedule in a clear way and inform via different channels of any (last-minute) updates to the planning. This ensures that there is less misunderstanding on the schedule, which reduces operational risk.

All above benefits show the enormous value that can be derived from a good scheduling solution. Creating a positive business case for implementing a state-of-the-art scheduling tool should therefore be a no-brainer for many organisations.  Especially as almost all organizations have scheduling problems. Obviously the most known are travel and logistics companies (like airlines or truck companies), but also many other companies have to deal with scheduling, e.g. companies working in shifts, companies having operational processes requiring the continuous presence of resources (e.g. service desks) or companies having a limited amount of highly requested expensive equipment. It is therefore important to look at all your business processes and see where you have a limited capacity of highly requested resources (employees, vehicles, computers, machinery, office spaces…​). The allocation of those precious resources can be tackled as a scheduling problem.


To talk to us about your issues with scheduling and how optimzation could help feel free to reach out at


Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash