DPD, provider of parcel services, decided to implement the solution ORion-PI of Axxom Software AG for its staff planning tasks at its Villingen-Schwenningen depot. A special feature of the software is a new developed scheduling algorithm that allows DPD to combine automated planning with the experience of its shift supervisors. With this new solution, DPD is able to cope with an increasing number of shipments, reducing the complexity in staff planning and increasing efficiency in its whole planning process.
With about 150 employees, two-shift operations, about 45 different workplaces and flexible hours of work staff planning at DPD`s Villingen-Schwenningen depot is a complex task. Therefore, since the beginning of 2011 the provider of parcel services has been using the software ORion-PI of Axxom. The solution supports DPD in calculating the necessary staff demand as well as scheduling the employees. Based on the expected number of parcels the software calculates the workload distribution of the whole depot for every 15-minute interval per day. In an additional step, the software also determines the number of necessary workplaces and the number of employees that should be deployed at every workstation.
In the final step the software organizes the operative scheduling of the staff, using a scheduling algorithm of Axxom that is able to automatically fulfill this task. The algorithm prioritizes the staff demand, reviews the availability of employees and also considers their qualifications, working time accounts or holidays. Therefore, ORion-PI is connected seamlessly to DPD`s time tracking system and receives the necessary information. As a result, the software suggests a staffing plan for every workplace in the whole depot.
"Task of the algorithm is to schedule exactly the necessary number of personnel with the according working hours", explains Kristin Gerbeth, Product Manager at Axxom. "This results in a lower demand for external staff as well as a significant reduction of overtime, as the algorithm considers the working hour account of the DPD employees."
"We used to plan our staff with Excel. However, this often resulted in a time-consuming and nevertheless imprecise planning process", says Guenther Pfaff, director of the DPD depot in Villingen-Schwenningen. "ORion-PI enables us to model our specific processes and demands with the software and thus to plan and schedule our staff efficiently."