Donatus Pharmacy: Personnel Scheduling with Employee Preferences
(5 pages of text)
In March 2017, a pharmacy in Berlin encountered a personnel scheduling problem. The pharmacy’s key activity was serving customers in-store with ready-made medication. These services had to be offered during regular opening hours, on occasional Sundays, and during pre-assigned emergency-service shifts. In addition, customer-specific formulations had to be prepared, and certain office duties had to be performed. A particular aspect of the problem was that, in addition to differences in the employment contracts, the employees’ preferred attendance times had to be considered. Although the issue was presented as an operational problem, long-term considerations of determining the cornerstones of the employment contracts could be addressed.
The case can be used in courses on personnel, service, and operations management as well as courses with an emphasis on analytics. Although the case is complex, it can be used with students at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. Completing this case will give students the opportunity to
- review and analyze an existing personnel schedule and explore ways of generating such a schedule;
- discuss and develop relevant performance criteria reflecting the interests of all stakeholders;
- understand the complexity of the problem and identify ways of coping;
- develop a personnel schedule using trial and error/heuristic procedures and/or mathematical optimization; and
- explore longer-term issues of personnel planning.
Health Care Services
Germany, Small, 2017
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