Projects need to be staffed by skilled employees who travel to the site to perform the work and manual workforce assignments are suboptimal when total travel costs are not considered.
National Grid uses mathematical optimization to create workforce assignments that minimize overall travel costs, imposing various constraints on the formulation while keeping project requirements in mind. They developed an intuitive interface for the optimization tool so stakeholders can easily manage inputs and review the proposed assignments for feasibility. Their solution reduces travel time, travel costs, and reduces travel risk as employees are, on average, spending less time getting to and from project sites.
- Mathematical optimization is a powerful tool to reduce costs and improve efficiency for problems that involve various constraints.
- Techniques to introduce business requirements as constraints to the optimization problem.
- A user-friendly and straightforward interface is just as important as the underlying data science algorithms.