Demand planning is a key element of workforce planning and management.

Creating an accurate demand model allows you to forecast precise labour requirements and factor in variations from seasonal peaks to hour-by-hour changes. The requirement then forms the basis upon which a responsive labour supply model can be developed.

A key question at this stage is how many productive hours does each employee work in a year?

A traditional working time contract for members of a workforce might, for example, stipulate a 40-hour week, and provide 25 days of paid annual leave plus 8 days of public holiday. A holiday represents 1/5th of the weekly contract, so in this example each ‘holiday’ equates to 40/5 = 8 hours.

The organisation pays for 2087 hours but when 25 days of annual leave and 8 public holidays have been deducted you’re left with 1,823 hours.

How many days in a year? The mechanics of Working Time

However, other influences exist which may reduce the 1823 hours further. The most detailed plans to meet demand can be confounded by many different factors that affect labour supply. 

These can include:

  • Sickness
  • Jury service
  • Parental leave
  • Compassionate leave
  • Training
  • Paid breaks

Once you have an accurate picture of labour supply, taking into account factors listed above, you can design shift patterns that maximise productivity and efficiency.

A demand-led approach to planning and management is central to ensuring employees are fully utilised when they are at work.

Demand-Led Rostering systems are based on contractual hours worked over a year instead of

each week. This enables the organisation to increase or reduce planned hours in advance to match

the required labour profile and ensure service levels are consistent through the day and year.

For example, training is essential for all businesses which means time away from productive work. However, this can be planned for at times of low demand and scheduled into the working patterns with appropriate cover arrangements.

To learn more about designing, implementing, and managing optimised and compliant shift patterns, join us at our 1-day Masterclass event on 14th November in Manchester. Click here for more information or call 0161 720 5050.

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