A Sequential Workforce Scheduling and Routing Problem for the Retail Industry: A Case StudyUğur Eliiyi, Onur Uğurlu, Sel Özcan Tatari
This study investigated the operational workforce scheduling and routing problem of a leading international retail company. Currently, the company plans to launch a new product into the Turkish market, which will be used in all its retail stores across the country. For the best marketing outcome, branding of all retail stores needs to be renewed by an outsourced workforce with a minimum of cost and time. We framed this as a workforce scheduling and routing optimization problem. Therefore, a two-stage solution was proposed. The retail stores were partitioned into disjoint regions in the first stage, and the schedules were optimized in the second stage. We employed the k-means clustering algorithm for constructing these regions. Two different heuristic approaches were applied to solve regional scheduling in the second stage of the algorithm since the resulting scheduling problem is NP-hard. Finally, a computational analysis was performed with real data and the results are discussed.