(Eric Mentz, Greg Meurer, 1995)
This report details the study that we completed for our Senior Design class at Southern Methodist University during the Spring semester of 1995. Through Logan Flatt, a consultant at Towers Perrin, we came into contact with Tee Pee Convenience Stores. Tee Pee is a United States based convenient store chain consisting of approximately 4000 stores.
Tee Pee was in the process of developing a system for their individual store managers that would help them to adequately staff their stores based on customer flow and satisfaction. The consultants at Towers Perrin formulated a manual model, which was developed into the Store Staffing Tool. We saw an opportunity to automate this model with a FORTRAN program, and develop an algorithm that would automatically assign employees to certain hours of the week, based on availability and competency.
The resulting output of this algorithm not only shows the work schedule for the week. It also shows the staffing levels required, the total number of labor hours needed during the week, and the overall labor cost of running that store for one week. The program also shows which employees are not being adequately used.
By using this program, individual store managers will be able to better manage their resources. Staffing levels will be appropriate for the customer flow, which reduces over and under staffing, and the number of overtime hours has been brought to zero. By reducing overtime, both store managers and employees are satisfied. Managers are pleased that they will not have to pay time and a half to their workers. Workers are happy that they will not have to work long hours.
It must be noted that the results of our program are not set in stone. It is up to the individual store manager to decide whether or not the schedule meets his/her standards. If it doesn't, it is up to the manager to adjust the schedule accordingly. Nevertheless, our program provides a good starting point for scheduling, and will save store managers both time and money.