Scheduling and route optimisation for labour cost reduction in facility custodial maintenance
Journal of Facilities Management
Article publication date: 15 May 2017
The purpose of this paper is to present an optimised scheduling system for facility mangers and custodians. Experience-driven systems currently in use can result in poor ratings for facility maintenance metrics such as overtime hours, utilisation difference and labour costs.
The cleaning schedule and custodian work assignments defined by the manager are simulated for the entire year. Clustering and routing algorithms assign work to custodians equally and find optimal cleaning routes. The manager may use the resulting feedback to iteratively find a suitable schedule which lowers costs.
Data were collected at a large university building in consultation with facility management and custodians. Results indicate a significant reduction in overtime hours, improvement in utilisation difference and a lowering of labour costs.
The methodology was validated at a single building in the facility. Variable selection and optimisation model design will benefit from a comprehensive case study which spans the entire facility.
The methodology may easily be integrated with existing facility maintenance software, adding to it features such as a manager scheduling interface with feedback on critical cleaning metrics and a custodian user interface which highlights room visitation routes and task times.
This study acts on the need for facility cleaning labour cost management highlighted in literature. It achieves its goals using a novel combination of scheduling, simulation and optimisation. It is designed to empower key decision-makers, i.e. facility managers and custodians, with better information.
The authors wish to acknowledge that the corresponding (first) author and second author of the work contributed equally to its conceptual development and implementation.
Pradhan, N., Patlolla, D. and Sawhney, R. (2017), "Scheduling and route optimisation for labour cost reduction in facility custodial maintenance", Journal of Facilities Management, Vol. 15 No. 2, pp. 190-206. https://doi.org/10.1108/JFM-11-2016-0048
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