Koninklijke Apothekers Vereniging

Improved roster quality by 12%

KAVA asked Solvice to develop a planning optimization algorithm to spread the on-call shifts of 4930 Belgian pharmacies fairly in Belgium over the period of half a year. Solvice implemented a combination of intelligent planning moves and swaps, along with efficient meta-heuristics to produce optimal plans in minutes.

Challenge

The Belgian territory is divided into 126 sectors. However, a pharmacy can belong to multiple sectors. In every sector one pharmacy should have on on-call duty. The distance between those selected pharmacies on duty should be at a minimum. Pharmacies have desiderata to indicate whether they want to be on call or not. Candidates for the night on-call duties are those who have to be on-call during the day. 

Approach

After a thorough analysis of the requirements and the available data, Solvice conducted interviews and workshops to describe the balance between the different objective functions clearly to all actors involved.

"Integrating OnShift has really helped us to manage our staff more efficiently and has increased our ability to make the best use of our staff."
Bernard De Ruyck, IT Director, KAVA

Solution

Solvice implemented a combination of intelligent planning moves and swaps, along with efficient meta-heuristics to produce optimal plans in minutes. The assignment of on-call duties to all pharmacies for half a year incorporates all objective functions in a satisfactory manner. In addition, the custom solver is parameterized to allow Kava to easily change the balance/weights between different objective functions in the future.

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