Higher productivity and less chaos with self-rostering
NedTrain has specialised in the maintenance, repair, cleaning, and overhaul of railway rolling stock for over 150 years. At more than thirty strategic locations across the Dutch railway network, Nedtrain carries out maintenance on the rail vehicles of its clients 24 hours per day, 7 days per week.
NedTrain has a very complex shift planning puzzle
At the Binckhorst depot, trains are cleaned both inside and out and minor maintenance is carried out. The Binckhorst depot has around 45 employees in three job groups. Because the trains are running during the day, most of the work takes place at night. There is also a big fluctuation in the volume of work that has to be carried out each night. This makes shift planning a very complex puzzle.
NedTrain wanted to simplify its shift patterns
In the existing situation, last-minute changes had to be made all the time. These sudden changes were often very inconvenient for the staff. In order to improve their work-life balance, they asked NedTrain to make the shift planning less chaotic. In addition, many of the staff had their own individual preferences, such as night shifts or only weekend shifts. Trying to accommodate all the different wishes made shift planning a very chaotic process for the workforce planner.
In addition, there were also considerable peaks and troughs in the workload at the depot throughout the day. NedTrain wanted to achieve a better alignment between the staffing level and the actual workload so that the staff “only work when there is work”.
Implementation of self-rostering
Under the guidance of Déhora, a decision was taken to introduce self-rostering for the employees of NedTrain. This tried and tested Swedish rostering system makes the whole group responsible for making sure the right people are working at the right time. The employees are able to choose their own shift preferences and then share out the shifts amongst themselves, as long as enough people with the right competencies are working at any one time.
The allocation of tasks is then adjusted accordingly. The optimum workforce capacity at different times of the week is also analysed and adjusted where necessary.
Advantages of self-rostering
With the self-rostering, productivity has gone up with more maintenance work being carried out each day. Shift planning is also become much less chaotic. The number of last-minute changes has been reduced to almost zero. The work-life balance has also improved. Employees are now able to work their preferred shifts in 90-95% of the cases.