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Using the Autoscheduler
Using the Autoscheduler

How to get the most out of Rotageek's Autoscheduling tool

Tori avatar
Written by Tori
Updated over a week ago

The fastest way to create a schedule in Rotageek is using the Autoscheduler

Depending on how your company uses the Autoschedule function, the Autoscheduler will either use Forecasted Demand, which automatically builds your company's rota to match the peaks and troughs of demand in your business, or use Targets specified by you, the manager. You might also have a combination of the two, with some jobs being forecasted, and some entirely specified by targets. In both cases, you will use the Staffing Levels page.

Forecast-Driven vs Target-driven - what's the difference?

Forecasted Demand - 'forecast-driven jobs'

For these jobs, Rotageek's Auto-scheduling algorithm will build your rota to meet forecasted demand, meaning your rota flexes to meet peaks and troughs in the day & week. If you're intrigued how demand data is generated as well as what constitutes an optimal schedule, check out our article explaining how demand forecasting works

The only input required from the manager is to set staffing levels using the Staffing Levels tool - see below.

Targets - 'target-driven jobs'

If your company doesn't use the forecast-driven Auto-scheduling, or there are tasks which are not shaped by the forecast, you will need to set up your target staffing requirements before you can create your rota.

Introduction to the Staffing Levels tool

To set your requirements for the Autoscheduler, you will need to use the Staffing Levels tool:

Please zoom-in if you cannot see the screenshot below and find here each annotation corresponding to its number.

1 - This is the template you're currently editing. You can create a new one by pressing "New Template".
2 - This is the day you're currently adding the staffing levels to.
3 - These values are the targeted total hours for the day and for the week.
4 - These are all the jobs that your company has set up on Rotageek at your location. Some are 'active', meaning they are a job that a person is scheduled to do - for instance Till. Some might be 'passive', meaning they are not an active job, but a required property of a person - for instance a Keyholder or Fire Warden.

There are several input types to this page, which we explain below:

Staffable Hours - used for all forecast-driven jobs

Minimum - used for forecast-driven and target-driven jobs, as well as to set your requirements for passive jobs

Target - used for target-driven jobs

Maximum - used for target-driven jobs

What to do for Target-driven jobs:

The Target Line (required):
This is the ideal number of staff you want staffed on the job. Make sure you set a target to cover the whole time you need coverage.

The Minimum & Maximum Lines (optional):

These lines will not appear by default as adding minimum staffing levels is optional. To see and use these for target-driven jobs, you will need to tick 'Show minimum values' and/or 'Show maximum values' on the 'Filters' button. Minimum can be used if there is a minimum coverage for a role that's less than the target (e.g. for safety or security reasons); maximum can be used if it is physically not possible to have more than a certain number of people staffed to a job at one time (e.g. tills).

What to do for Forecast-driven jobs

The Staffable Line (required):

For all forecast-driven jobs, you will see a Staffable line. This is to tell the Autoscheduler the times at which it is possible to assign the job, so that jobs aren't scheduled at times they shouldn't be. E.g. if your store is open 9am - 9pm, but you only want a certain task to be performed in the afternoon, you could set the staffable hours to be 1pm - 5pm.

Forecast-driven jobs - the Minimum Line (optional)
Once you have entered the Staffable times, some jobs might have minimum coverage, and this can change throughout the day. Adding this ensures that any minimum levels are hit even when the forecast would indicate they are not required.

How to add Staffing Levels

Now you're familiar with which lines need filling in and why, adding your staffing levels is easy - simply drag and drop your cursor from the start to the end time of your choice. In the video below, I added a requirement of one staff member with the Counter skill from 10am to 4pm.

You can edit the quantity of staff required along with the start and end times by simply clicking on the demand you have input. To vary the number throughout the day, just create different demand bars at the required times, as shown on the Till target.

Repeat the process for each skill required for that day.

To save time, press Copy to other days and select the days you want this staffing levels template applied to if it is identical or similar on other days. On the screenshot below, I've copied the Sunday staffing Levels onto Monday Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. 

Making use of multiple templates

If certain weeks have different requirements - for instance around holidays, or at the beginning of a promotion cycle - you might need different Staffing Levels. Rather than having to re-do the Staffing Levels each time this happens, you can just make a new template that you can save and use whenever you need it.

To add a new template, press 'New Template', and you can even copy another template into it to get started with - especially useful if the new template will only be slightly different.

Using the Autoscheduler - the Scheduler Page

The Intra-Day Demand Graph

You will find on top of the scheduler the Intra-day Demand Graph. Expand the section in order to see your demand. If you have set different Staffing Level templates, this is where you can select which one to use for that week - shown in the red box below.

If you can't view the screenshot below clearly please zoom in! 

On the Intra-Day Demand Graph, the purple line represents forecasted customer demand, and the blue bars show the number of employees scheduled. The information contained here will form the basis for your rota. The graph displays in 15 or 30 minute intervals. 

Using the Autoscheduler 

When you're ready to create your rota, click Auto-schedule in the top right corner. 

Rotageek will then generate your near optimal schedule

Once Autoscheduler has run, managers can manually edit rotas produced by the Autoscheduler by either editing or deleting existing shifts, or adding further shifts if needed.

All you need to do then is click Approve Changes to finalise the rota. Easy peasy!

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