Is Your Roster Truly Optimal?

Lisa Spiden

Is Your Roster Truly Optimal?

Every organisation relies on a solid workforce to ensure excellent customer experience and business profitability, and it’s no different in the retail and hospitality sectors. That’s why rostering staff optimally should be a significant focus for any business that employs large volumes of staff, and yet, it can often be overlooked as a strategic business activity.

In retail and hospitality, on site store managers are generally tasked with scheduling staff, however a huge administrative workload and a gap in technological capability makes it difficult to find the time and answers to design the most efficient roster possible. Strategically planning and structuring optimal rosters is not at the top of their to-do lists so any large overarching rostering design changes would be the responsibility of Retail and Operations Managers usually located at head office. 

These days, most sophisticated businesses will have a time and attendance, or rostering system, and some of these have the smarts to construct rosters efficiently whilst taking into consideration the key business rules and workplace agreements across multiple sites. 

Yet, how do these businesses actually know if their roster is the most optimal it could be? How do they know, for certain, they’ve been able to lower operational costs and maintain or even increase sales to the best of their ability?

There’s a secret to finding the truly optimal roster that meets all complex work agreements, minimises operational costs and predicts coverage and demand whilst improving customer experience - and it has the potential to save businesses up to 10% in labour costs annually. 

For large retailers or hospitality chains, with thousands of staff, that’s millions of dollars sitting on the table that can be re-invested into the business to drive innovation or increase revenue.

The secret, although quite complex, lies in mathematics.

In this blog, we’ll explain the specifics of Mathematical Roster Optimisation.

What is Mathematical Roster Optimisation?

The right mathematical application, in conjunction with Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML), can completely reconstruct your base template roster without the limitations of rosters from the past. 

Mathematical Roster Optimisation looks at the key business criteria, compliance requirements and sales goals to construct a roster that considers the entire universe of possibilities, rather than just a segment of possibilities informed by the past.

The combination of optimisation maths, machine learning and AI, used in a particular way, can give a business absolute data driven insights that can save the business 10% on wages annually without impacting sales or customer satisfaction and can even increase sales.


The Workforce Analytics’ Roster Right solution empowers store and site managers to create truly optimised rosters, from scratch, with the right application of mathematics, AI and Machine Learning. It also gives executive teams absolute data driven insights that can predict potential increases in sales, save up to 10% (annually) on payroll costs whilst ensuring the best possible customer experience across all sites.  

“We are fortunate to have working with us, one of only a select few mathematicians in Australia, who can use commercial Combinatorial Optimisation to unlock the true potential of rostering for making strategic business decisions.

This skillset is very rare and other Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) or mathematical modelling techniques, do not achieve the same results.

This allows Roster Right to offer a uniquely positioned mathematical optimisation method that takes the complexity out of rostering whilst minimising wage costs, predicting potential sales and preserving customer experience.”

- quote from Lisa Spiden, CEO & Founder of Workforce Analytics.

Want to know more about how to truly optimise your rosters?
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