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News

Workforce scheduling system for Schiphol airport

Ortec : 10 February, 2014  (Application Story)
Ortec has provided Vebego Airport Services with a personnel deployment optimization system for use in general services tasks at Amsterdam's Schiphol airport
Workforce scheduling system for Schiphol airport

Vebego Airport Services (VAS) at Schiphol wanted to realize efficiency savings by optimizing personnel deployment with ORTEC. From cleaning to security, information desks and trolley services (baggage), rostering for all employee services takes place using ORTEC Workforce Scheduling. “For us, social innovation is about smarter organization and putting competencies and talents to the best use possible. That is what we are aiming to achieve with ORTEC’s help”, according to Monique Bakker, Human Resources manager at Vebego Airport Services.

In addition to implementing ORTEC Workforce Scheduling, VAS also opted to implement two modules from ORTEC Workforce: ORTEC Employee Self Service, that allows employees to view their own roster from home and submit leave and shift swap requests, and ORTEC Flexpool for flexible staff. The latter is proving very beneficial for Vebego Airport Services particularly during the high season (May to September). Monique Bakker explains: “During the high season we make frequent use of flexible staff, as our own employees are on holiday and of course it’s busier than at other times.” Forty to fifty percent of the flexible pool of workers Vebego Airport Services calls on in the high season is made up of our employees. To date VAS rosters a total of 570+ employees using ORTEC Workforce Scheduling. ORTEC’s OWS ESS module will initially only be used by information desk employees.

With so many different departments, all with services to be scheduled in the system, there are undoubtedly challenges involved. Monique Bakker continues: “It’s no different here from anywhere else. However, one advantage is that the various departments plan specifically for their own specialism, which allows them to retain better control over what goes on. Employees report seeing a vast improvement since working with ORTEC. This is only to be expected since at Hago Airport Services we have made the leap from a paper-based rostering system to scheduling on computer! This way, we have a much better overview of the year”

“This has had a knock-on effect on our administrative procedures, with the move to the new system resulting in significant time savings. Before the ORTEC implementation, the paper-based schedules were manually transferred to Excel files. It took one person two days a week to do all this; with ORTEC it takes just half a day a month. Reporting is much better, and we can retrieve the hours worked by a specific individual from the system at the click of a button. In this way we can use OWS as a monitoring tool to help us manage and plan more efficiently.”

Returning to the challenges, Monique Bakker continues: “Each department has its own collective labour agreement. Yask Airport Information and Schiphol Dienstverlening (security, trolley services and lost luggage) have been transferred from Schiphol and have two collective labour agreements. Fortunately, OWS automatically takes the different collective labour agreements into account.” Another challenge for VAS is that rosters must be planned on the basis of qualifications. “For example, someone who does not have or has an out-of-date Schiphol pass cannot be put on the roster”, states the project leader. “It was very important for us that the ORTEC solution could address this. Of course, this is all par for the course for ORTEC and this is clear from the results.”

Where scheduling for security and trolley services takes place on a more ad-hoc basis, the information and cleaning departments are able to plan much further ahead. “In terms of the information desks, they are already working on the rosters and shift swaps up to and including May next year. The same goes for cleaning where staff are asking for their rosters for summer next year so that they can plan holidays. In terms of security and trolley services the aim is always to have rosters in place three months in advance. However, there is so much ad-hoc work from our client Schiphol that rosters continually have to be revised. Fortunately, ORTEC Workforce Scheduling provides support for this.”

In addition to the interfaces that are due to be created with the payroll and administration systems, VAS also wants to implement automatic rostering and the module for workplace planning. Monique Bakker again: “We expect to gain a great deal of benefit from the latter module, undoubtedly for the information desks. Employees don’t sit at the same desk all day, they move to a different desk every two hours. If you imagine that employee A does their first stint on desk 1 and the second on desk 4 (on the other side of the airport), clearly this is not very convenient. At the moment, this information is all updated manually. It would be nice if this could be done automatically, providing a clear overview in ORTEC’s solution. It would also be helpful if everyone knew a week ahead which desk they would be sitting at.”

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