How to evaluate variability of demand

Optimizing workforce scheduling makes more sense is the demand varies more. Depending on your business, the demand will change with seasons, events, weather, etc. The closer your are to the end customer, the greater the demand changes. Think of a fries stand (a typical Belgian example) where your delicious fries are baked when you order them, where the demand changes every week based on weather, events, holiday, time of year, etc. On the opposite side is a B2B company producing to stock. Their variations in demand are buffered by their inventory, and the inventory of wholesalers and retailers in the chain. This allows them to keep the workforce schedule more stable than our fries stand.

When evaluating whether using an optimization engine to create shifts is worth the effort, you want to get an idea of the variability of the demand. It will require some data crunching, our tip to get started is to just feed ChatGPT Data Analysis plugin with your data and you’ll get quite reasonable analysis to start with.