00:06 Therese Snow
Hi and welcome to our DELMIA podcast, Global Operations on the Go. Today I'm speaking with Camilo Gaviria. Camilo’s the Vice President of Technical Sales at DELMIA. He oversees the DELMIA Center of Excellence with Dassault Systèmes. He's speaking with us today on emergency planning solutions.
00:24 Camilo Gaviria
Thank you. Yes, today we're going to be talking about the emergency planning solution, particularly the workforce planner emergency planning solution. For the last couple of weeks, in reaction to the current COVID crisis, we sat down with a team and we came up with a particular setup that allows us to address a very clear set of challenges that we've identified have resulted from this crisis. And we've been leading this effort to provide to our customers, to our partners, a solution that we can implement in potentially 30 days to help support their operations, dealing with the shortages in workforce, with the fact that people are currently unclear on whether they can work from home or not. To deal with the effects of the downturn in demand for particular services. For example, those challenges are the ones that we're trying to address with this solution.
01:30 Therese Snow
The novel Coronavirus pandemic known as COVID-19 is rampant. Many essential workers and hospital staff are in an all-hands-on-deck mode. Based on this current crisis, how is DELMIA’s new emergency workforce planner solution helping.
01:45 Camilo Gaviria
So as I mentioned before, we have indeed, two particular solutions within the workforce planning domain. The first one is a more technical solution that allows, for example, hospitals in this case, to understand the longer term impact of the dips in demand that they're seeing, such as right now, and the fact that some hospitals have decided to ramp up capacity. And it will allow them to, for example, model the different ways that they're going to react when the crisis goes away. Right? So how are they going to ramp down? How are they going to allocate those additional beds that they probably now have, whether they need to ramp out at all, or whether they need to prepare for a long-term availability of different type of services potentially.
And in that sense, the mixture of skills that potentially will result are being needed in the different hospitals and health centers will be different. Also, if you take a look at it from nursing, home nursing and geriatric care perspective, there's going to be additional challenges additional constraints, that with solutions like the Quintiq solution can be handled in a successful way, ensuring that employees are still able to do their jobs, taking care of the restrictions that they now have in terms of materials, or shifts, or overtime, for example. The second solution is related to the operational horizon. This solution is designed to allow companies that today need to react very quickly to very volatile workforce patterns, right.
So it’s either demand or supply, and it will allow them to basically create the daily plan board in an optimized way, while still allowing employees to have preferences and be able to react and accept their shifts and communicate from mobile if needed. This plan board capability is something that we've seen, it's currently being taken care of. And many cases, still in Excel or in magnetic planning boards, just because organizations that are currently performing the planning operations are actually doing the allocation if people are typically not responsible to do so, or having large to the scope of their support. So in these cases, a solution that can go live within 30 days, allows you to get all that data centralized and be able to create operational plan boards that you can very quickly execute. So by addressing those challenges, we believe that we can support the healthcare industry from a better staffing perspective.
04:27 Therese Snow
All right, those are really great examples. Further to your answer, exactly what benefits does the emergency workforce plan or solution provide for a company, for employees?
04:38 Camilo Gaviria
Yes, so for companies, again, we have different solutions. The more tactical solution allows them to start thinking even today around how they're going to react due to a potential ramp up of operations, right, that will probably involve, for example, in the manufacturing sector, being very selective about the skill sets that you want to ramp up first. You might want to give some capacity to R&D to perform their tasks, now that probably demand is going to be low. That will require a different set of skills on the line. You will probably have training constraints because in some skills, you require a certain number of hours on the line or on the machinery or on the vehicle to actually be certified to operate those.
So you need to take into account that people that would typically be available might all of a sudden be not because they blocked their certifications, and you need to ramp them up on their skill sets. You need you need to assess all those constraints from a technical perspective. From a company perspective, this will only drive the ability to drive better scenarios that are potentially more profitable, right, you're going to minimize the overtime, you're going to be minimizing the additional FTE cost because you're going to better use the resources that are available. Now for the company, the operational plan board is quite straightforward value, right? Because you're literally solving the ongoing crisis, you're reacting in an optimal way. You're literally optimizing the allocation of available people with they're available skills to the available tests and shifts within a particular workforce setup. For companies that are dealing with warehouses with lines in distribution or in healthcare, for example, where people have very specific skill sets that need to be matched to a particular demand or a particular task.
This level provides significant amount of value to the company by taking care of minimizing the impact of the vulnerability that we that we see due to coronavirus. Now and for employees, the tactical level ensures that they have a proper ramp up with the right the right amount of time allocated for training and the right amount of hours being allocated to their shifts, respecting their the workforce rules. And from an operational perspective, plan board allows them further flexibility in what is already a very rigid environment, right. So with the given restrictions, and with the fact that many people will have to work from home, or potentially will have to reduce the amount of time that they spend on a particular location. Having the ability to trade shifts to approve remotely and to communicate with the employee seamlessly throughout the tool will allow them to feel more comfortable with the fact that their company is taking care of them as well, right. So it balances out a little bit the equation and allows for a balance allocation.
07:34 Therese Snow
Sure, I'm sure a lot of us can certainly relate to that. So can you speak to the key capabilities of DELMIA as emergency workforce planner solution that offer for example, support and critical decisions during a crisis like this?
07:48 Camilo Gaviria
Yes. So is this on the tactical level, the ability to receive multiple demand streams and aggregate them into a single demand and based on that demand, generate an appropriate shift better or supply structure that allows for companies to understand what different shifts they need, their length, their size, their frequency, and how to locate them in time to cover that demand, in a way that minimizes their costs, for example. Those capabilities are strongly supported by mathematical optimization that in the background evaluates millions of potential possibilities, given the data and the constraints, and provides what is probably the best possible answer to that particular setup. This allows for very quick reaction and understanding of the current environment and how to react to it.
On the more operational level, it provides them the ability to relay the processing of the daily schedule. It takes out the complexity and the risk of doing enormous amounts of shifts and change and balancing acts manually or with the manual formulation in Excel. It takes out that complexity and it provides a standard best practice framework to create a plan board that matches the need for particular skills and people with the available supply of those skills and the people that carry them. And it also enhances the communication with that workforce by providing direct access and direct communication with the system. So those two are the key critical capabilities that help support companies and organizations in crises like the one that we have right now.
09:46 Therese Snow
DELMIA Quintiq solutions are normally designed to deliver a perfect fit for customers. But the emergency workforce planner solution’s designed for rapid deployment in less than 30 days, how do you achieve that?
10:00 Camilo Gaviria
So, because we're trying to address the current crisis, we realized that we needed to be able to deliver these capabilities in a very short amount of time to actually make them valuable for people to use. If we come out two or three months later, it's going to be too late, right? The way we did this was we identified across the many implementations that we've done of many workforce planning solutions, what were the common data components, the common topics that typically were challenges for the company, and how they address them. And we identified two main capabilities of the standard workforce planner solution that provided the most value in the context of this new crisis, which were the tactical solution and the operational solution that we just discussed. By limiting the scope to just those particular use cases, we're already minimizing the amount of time that we would need to spend in just data loading.
That's first component. Second, we're sticking to the standard capabilities of our workforce planner solution. We have deployed our workforce planner solution in many locations, as a standard solution. And when we realized that in the customers where we've done customization, where we don't have to achieve a particular requirement, we've done so on top of the existing solution. So, what we basically took out of that is that if we just cut out a little bit of the complexity that you should typically be able to cut out in a crisis situation, and you stick to the best practices and the standards that are already included in the tool which have been gathered for many years of implementation, you should be well enough to provide enough value to justify losing the granularity or the or the exactness of including every single rule. So let's take for example labor rules. Of course, labor rules are critical in normal operation, you should not violate any type of labor rules when creating your plan board or your shifts, right. Now, in the moment of crisis, two things happen: those labor rules might be relaxed by the government, emergency acts might be enacted to allow for those rules to be either bent or ignored for a period of time, first of all.
And second, in many cases, some of those labor rules are not necessarily legally binding, they have been agreed with a particular union, they have been agreed with a particular group. And as such, might be negotiated to react to the crisis in a more efficient manner from a company and workforce perspective. So basically, what we're trying to achieve is, let's use the labor rules that are already included in the solution, they already account for, let's say 80% of the complexities that we've seen, and identify those that are critical and load them into the system. And by ignoring those that are not critical, and that are or that can be dealt with, for example, outside of a planning tool, we can very quickly load the data that is available into the system, map it correctly and creatively, and get it to run and generate very valuable results. And because the optimizer is both flexible, and pre-configured with a series of preset strategies, we can already ensure that we deliver an optimized plan based on the available data. Now, a key requirements as well is that the data that we gather is of the right level. In many cases, we would like to go for very, very detailed task allocation in manufacturing, for example. It turns out that in a crisis, it might not be necessary to solve the task allocation to ensure that a particular operation is on time. And in that sense, you should be more concerned on, for example, planning the general availability of the workforce for a particular operation. That reduces the complexity of the type of data that you need to go out and search. And it reduces the amount of time that we need to spend collecting the data and loading it into the system. So, by taking some simplifications in the usage of certain capabilities, and in the loading of the data and in the defining of what the results will be, we're able to deliver these solutions in 30 days.
That being said, our product teams are there guiding our teams and our customers and our prospects and our partners in the journey of identifying the critical business needs, so the critical crisis situations or the scope that we want to address—identify what is the data that you have available that will work with the current solution, and they will guide the team through the mapping process and they will ask for the data that is available and will guide you through the process of loading the data into the tool. And what's very different from a traditional implementation is that we will actually handhold our customers in the process of generating the results. So instead of just teaching how to use the solution, we will actively sit down with them, and help them use the solution until the required results are achieved. Now, whether we're going to achieve 100% accuracy and optimality, probably not because we're taking strong assumptions to be able to deliver this pretty quick.
But again, under the current scope of the economy, and of how organizations are, achieving a very good result that can be reassessed on a daily basis or on a frequent basis, is potentially more useful. And in that, in any case, that result is going to be an order of magnitude better than what you were being able to evaluate either manually or with Excel before having such a solution. So it's by taking all these assumptions and all these approaches in conjunction, we’ll able to deliver in 30 days. Okay, I think that's as much as I have to share with you for today around the emergency planning solutions in workforce. Thank you very much for your attention. And we remain available for any questions that you may have.
16:18 Therese Snow
Excellent, thank you Camilo. So how can our podcast listeners obtain emergency workforce planner? Send an email to DELMIA.COVID19@3ds.com. Thank you so much for listening to Global Operations on the Go.