Labor Forecasting allows users to quickly create batches of shifts based on the type of event and the number of guests attending. This enhances a company's capacity planning and staffing ratios by ensuring that the right number of people are scheduled to work an event.

Labor Forecasting is a feature that is capable of optimizing your workforce, while simplifying your workforce management process.


This article will cover the following on Labor Forecasting in Schedule Xpress:

A heads up!

Labor Forecasting in Schedule Xpress

Events

Event ratios

Sample Event

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A heads up!

Some of the examples of Events that can be specified are breakfast, lunch, or dinner events which are either sit-down or buffet style, events with bar service, and concerts that have different arena configurations. In actual fact, any event that you can staff based on pre-determined ratios can use the Celayix Labor Forecasting tool.

Note: This feature can only be run in Schedule Xpress and is not automatically enabled. Please contact us to have the feature turned on and discuss any requirements you may need.


Labor Forecasting in Schedule Xpress

Dependent on what type of labor forecasting you'll be operating, you can find the setup in Settings. Head to Settings > Branch features > Labor forecasting.

Note: Labor forecasting and it's features will only show if they're enable in the system setup. Please Contact Support for more information.

Labor forecasting in Settings in Schedule Xpress

In this article, we'll be specifically focusing on Events.


Events

Event ratios can be used to define and generate the necessary shifts based on the specified event.

Note: Events will need to be activated by a member of the Customer Support Team. So, if this is something you're looking to incorporate, then please Contact Support now.

Events feature in Schedule Xpress

You'll be able to view any past, present or future events in here.

Events in Schedule Xpress

You can click to head inside any individual Event to retrieve more details.

Inside an Event in Events in Schedule Xpress

These events are broken down by:

  • Customer details

  • Location

  • Event details

  • Event references

  • Event notes

  • Event shifts for # of guests

You can click the arrows to the left of each header to expand the dropdowns.

Collapsible and expandable headers in Event in Events in Schedule Xpress

You can click the pencil in the top-right to edit any details.

Click pencil to edit in Event in Events in Schedule Xpress
Editing fields in Event in Events in Schedule Xpress

Event shifts for # of guests

The Event shifts for # of guests gives a breakdown of how many of shifts are required per service to fully optimize your Event.

Event shifts for # of guests in Event in Events in Schedule Xpress

Synchronize

If you do make any changes in the Schedule, you can press Synchronize to fully update your Event shifts for # guests.

Synchronize in Event shifts for # of guests in Event in Events in Schedule Xpress

Event shifts for # of guests is all broken down in the Event ratios section of your settings. We'll discuss that a little further down.

Creating an event

While in the Events feature, you can press Create event to start from scratch.

Create event in Events in Schedule Xpress

Importing an event

You also have the option to import a pre-created event. We advise you speak Contact Support to ensure the specifications are viable before attempting to upload.

Import event in Events in Schedule Xpress

Cloning an event

To clone an event, you have to enter an existing event. Once inside, you can press Clone event.

Clone event in Event in Events in Schedule Xpress

Deleting an event

To delete an event, click to head inside the event you want to delete, and then press Delete event.

Delete event in Event in Events in Schedule Xpress

Next, we'll discuss the impact of Event ratios. Further down, we show a sample event which gives a complete outline of how your Event will operate using ratios and more.


Event ratios

Event Ratios provide an opportunity for you to optimize your capacity planning by creating staffing ratios per number of guests attending an event. To find Event ratios, head to Settings > Branch features > Event ratios.

Event ratios in Settings in Branch features in Labor forecasting in Schedule Xpress

It's important to know that your Event ratios will directly effect the Event shifts for # of guests of the Events feature, as mentioned previously. We'll break down the effects it will have.

Once inside of Event ratios, you'll have the option to Create a ratio, Clone a ratio or Delete a ratio.

Create, clone or delete ratio inside Event ratios in Schedule Xpress

Creating an Event ratio

You can click Create ratio to start creating a new ratio. This will bring up a form with different ratio sections that need to be defined.

Create Event ratio in Event ratios in Schedule Xpress

Event Type and Sub-types

For Event Type, you can either choose an existing selection from the dropdown, or create and save a new selection on the spot.

Event Type and Sub-types in Create ratio in Event rations in Schedule Xpress

Or, creating a new Event type selection. You can click the text below you new Event Type and it will populate in the list of Types.

Note: The same applies for Sub-types.

Event Type and Sub-types in Create ratio in Event rations in Schedule Xpress
Event Type and Sub-types in Create ratio in Event rations in Schedule Xpress

Additional Event Types

Event ratios can also used to add the different event types and sub-types. Although most users will only have the Event Type and Event Sub-type defined, the system can be used to define a deeper hierarchy; for example, a sub-sub type.

This will generally be a one-time setup and the user will work with the Implementation Specialist to populate these.

Service

The Service defines the type of workforce personnel you require for a given event. This list of Services will populate from your Manage services in Schedule Xpress.

Service in Create ratio in Event rations in Schedule Xpress

Pre-event shift start and Post-event shift end

The Pre-event shift start and Post-event shift end fields are used to set how much time in advance of the event start that staff should arrive, and the amount of time that staff are required to work after the conclusion of the event.

Pre-event shift start and Post-event shift end in Create ratio in Event rations in Schedule Xpress

Guest to shift ratio

The Guest to Shift Ratio is where the ratio of employees to guests is defined.

Ratios can be either simple to complex, with minimum staffing specified, as well as non-linear changes depending on the staff count. Below are some of the scenarios that are supported within Labor Forecasting.

Before you show an example, let's discuss what Rounding is.

Rounding

Rounding allows the system to know how to respond if the amount of guests falls in-between a ratio. For example, if you have specified 1 shift for every 10 guests, this field will determine what happens if only 5 guests are attending.

Back to the Guest to shift ratio examples.

Sample of a linear/simple ratio:

Sample of a linear/simple ratio in Create ratio in Event ratios in Schedule Xpress

In this example, the event type is a sit-down buffet which requires staff to arrive 90 minutes prior to the Event beginning to set up, and 60 minutes afterwards to wrap up. The ratio is linear in that 1 shift will be created for every 10 guests, and the system will roundup the number of shifts if the guest count is not a multiple of 10.

Note: The above sample would apply the same ratio irrespective of guests numbered 10 or 10,000.

Now back to the Events section, and we've chosen to make the Event 'August Buffet' for 306 people. So now, any service we've defined in an Event type will show in the Event shift for 306 guests, as below.

Sample of a linear/simple ratio in Event shifts for 306 guests in Event in Event ratios in Schedule Xpress

Let's look at an example from the table above:

  • Service - Server

  • Guest to shift ratio - 5

  • Projected shift count - 62

  • Actual shift count - 62

  • Open shift count - 62

  • Over/under subscribed - 0

The information shows that for 306 guests, 62 servers are required, and that is how many open shifts this Event has provided for this particular service. Furthermore, once shifts are filled by employees, the open shift count will reduce.

Also, the Over/under subscribed will be in relation to any additional shifts or reduction in shifts that doesn't match the calculated ratio. For example, 62 has been calculated as the shift required for this service. But if you were to add a shift manually to make it 63 shifts, it would present as +1 in the Over/under subscribed. See image below.

Sample of a linear/simple ratio in Event shifts for 306 guests in Event in Event ratios in Schedule Xpress

Don't forget to Synchronize if you've made any changes to your Schedule.

Let's now look at a complex guest ratio.

Sample breakpoint/complex ratio with various breakpoints defined:

The below example is where the guest number breakpoints occur before the next shift is added. Where the linear ratio doesn't apply, this method will be used.

The setup of ratios supports as many breakpoints as is needed, but there will always be an 'above' clause in case the guest numbers happens to exceed the planned breakpoints.

The example below is for a Breakfast Event on the weekend for a Coffee Server. Shifts will begin 15 minutes prior to the Event start, and end 30 minutes after the Event has concluded.

Sample breakpoint/complex ratio with various breakpoints defined in Edit ratio in Events in Schedule Xpress

The Event ratio is as follows:

  1. Between 0-15 guests, one shift will be created.

  2. From 16-25 guests, one additional shift will be created. This will create a total of 2 shifts up to 25 guests.

  3. Above the 25th guest, one additional shift will be created for every 10 more guests.

  4. If the guest count is not a multiple of 10, the shifts will be rounded up. For example, if there are 48 guests, a total of 5 shifts will be created.

The above process is repeated depending on the types of services that will be required for the specific event. For example, if the event is a reception with a bar, the services that might be required include servers and bartenders. Each of these services needs to be setup, which would look similar to the image below.

Servers and Bartenders Event ratios in Events ratios in Schedule Xpress

Linking an Event

There is the option to link Events in Schedule Xpress.

A reason why this option can be useful is if you want to use the same group of employees for multiple events. For example, there may be a breakfast event in the morning and a lunch event later in the day. Rather than using a different group of employees, you can use Schedule Xpress to schedule based off the employee working the breakfast event. When scheduling, this can be achieved using the Find replacement and Autofill tools. But first, the Events must be linked.

When clicking on the Events icon, you will be presented with the screen below. The Event Name can be different to the Event you're linking too, but the Event ID will need to be the same to link the two Events.

Note: Event IDs can be written in alphanumeric.

Create event to link Events by choosing same Event ID in Events in Schedule Xpress

Scheduling a linked Event

You can schedule linked events by using the requirement Already scheduled on this date on linked event in an Employee search rule. You can located Employee search rules under Settings > Branch features.

Employee search rules in Settings in Branch features in Schedule Xpress

You can then customize the Employee search rule by applying Already scheduled on this date on linked event under the Requirements section.

Customizing Employee search rules by selecting Already scheduled on this date on linked event in Requirements in in Settings in Branch features in Schedule Xpress

You can the apply the new Employee search rule to Find replacement and Autofill, located under Settings > Branch features.

Find replacement and Autofill in Branch features in Settings in Schedule Xpress

You can select the Employee search rule you want to use, which will generate a search based on how it's customized. In this case, searching for employees who are Already scheduled on this date on linked event.

Selecting Events Employee search rule under Find replacement in Branch features in Settings in Schedule Xpress

Sample Event

These are the crucial panels used to determine the timing and the number of shifts.

Note: Not all panels are able to fit in one image.

Sample Event in Event in Events in Schedule Xpress

How it works

The user is expected to create an event for each batch of shifts they want to create.

These values are checked to ensure a valid ratio has been pre-created so we can figure out how many shifts are needed based on:

Step 1

The guest count drives the number of shifts needed.

Guest count in Event details in Event in Events in Schedule Xpress

The Event date and Event time is needed to ensure the shifts are created at the correct time. The shift times can differ from the Event times entered here. See Pre-event shift start and Post-event shift end fields. These are used to pad out the shift times to represent the complete duration the employee is expected (scheduled) to work.

Event date and Event time in Event details in Event in Events in Schedule Xpress

Step 2

Based on Step 1, we can determine which types of work (services) this type of Event needs based on the guest count.

Each Event requires the user to ‘Synchronize’ to actually create the open shifts in the database. Once the open shifts are created, the scheduler can use whichever techniques they prefer to assign shifts to employees.

Open shifts created from Event in Schedule in Schedule Xpress

Step 3

Based on the Event ratios, we know which services are required. Individual ratios need to be created for each service if this type of event requires different skills. These will be listed as below in Event ratios, and will show in the Event shifts for # of guests section of the Event itself.

Event ratios in Event ratio in Branch features in Settings in Schedule Xpress

Step 4

Based on Step 1, this is how many shifts should be needed. This is effectively the baseline requirements for the Event.

This will be presented as Projected shift count and Actual shift count in the Event shifts for # of guests section.

Projected shift count and Actual shift count columns in Event shifts for 306 guests in Event in Events in Schedule Xpress

Prior to synchronization, this field will show zeros as shifts are only created when synchronization occurs. Once synchronized, this will show the number of each type of shift (by service) created. You can manually add or deletes shift and then re-synchronize, which will force these numbers to change.

As open shifts are assigned out to employees (by whichever method the scheduler prefers), the Open shift numbers will decrease in the Event shifts for # of guests section. The goal is to have zero open shifts by the time the event is due to start.

Open shift count column in Event shifts for 306 guests in Event in Events in Schedule Xpress

Over/Under-subscribed events gives you an overview of whether the event has too many employees scheduled, to few employees scheduled, or is balanced correctly as per the Event ratio at 0.

If Over-subscribed, it will have a plus number (+1), meaning more shifts exist than should. If Under-subscribed, it will present a negative number (-1). If balanced, it will present as 0.

Over/Under subscribed column in Event shifts for 306 guests in Event in Events in Schedule Xpress

You have the autonomy to match the baseline by adding or deleting shifts in your Schedule. Having said that, you still have the discretion to add/reduce the shift count if you believe you require more or less shifts that the ratio has provided.

Note: If the scheduler has decided to add or reduce the shift count, hitting the synchronize button will attempt to adjust the number of shifts back to baseline (by adding or deleting shifts as needed). There is a caveat to this though. If shifts need to be deleted, only open shifts can be; meaning if the event is Over-subscribed, the scheduler may need to remove employees from assigned shifts first.

Here's a hypothetical example:

  • Baseline = 10 shifts based on 100 guests.

  • Current situation = 7 shifts assigned and 3 still open.

  • The client decides only 50 guests will attend so the guest count is reduced meaning you now only need 5 shifts.

  • Re-synchronizing can delete the 3 open shifts but the event still has 2 more assigned shifts than needed.

  • The scheduler can either choose two assigned shifts and make them open, then re-synchronize. Or simply delete the two excess assigned shifts.

  • The important point is that Schedule Xpress does not know which order employees should be removed from assigned shifts. So, this action has to be done by the you, the scheduler.


Contact us for more information now!

If you're looking for a way to save time scheduling and optimize your workforce, then Labor Forecasting may be for you. You can use this feature to improve your capacity planning and create staffing ratios that benefit your company and the Events/Services you provide.

Let's discuss how we can optimize your scheduling using Labor Forecasting.

You can Contact Support now!

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