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Department and Work Center Slots Calendar

The "Department and Work Center Slots Calendar" may be the second most important report behind the employee vacation calendar.  It shows what days can be requested for vacation. See Figure 1, Figure 2 and Figure 3.  If you do not use work centers, then this calendar and the Department Slots Calendar will look identical.  First, let’s define some terms.   

What’s a vacation slot?  A vacation slot is the ability of one person to take a vacation for one day from a department or work center.  The employer determines the number of people who can take vacation for each day of the scheduling period.  The employer can vary the number of slots depending on the projected work load. 

For example, if the number of slots is set to 2, then 2 people may be scheduled for vacation on a day.  If the number of slots is set to 0 then no one may be scheduled on that day.  (We make it easy to fill these values, setting them can take only a few seconds for the entire year.) 

As employees are scheduled, department and work center slots are reduced. Per department, once the maximum number of vacations are scheduled for a day, then no more may be scheduled.

What is a department?  A department consists of all people who compete with each other for vacation time. 

What is a work center? (Use of work centers is optional in VacationScheduler™.)  A work center is a mini department within a department. 

Originally VacationScheduler™ was developed for a factory setting.  The production department was made up of 8 different machine centers or work centers.  Four or five people worked at each work center.  The output of one work center was the input of the next.  Management could not afford to have all the people from one work center take vacation because production would stop.   

In order to maintain efficient operation, management had the following rule:  Five people could take vacation from the production department, but no more than 1 from each work center.  This prevented understaffing that would slow production.

If work centers are set up, VacationScheduler™ checks to see if a slot is available in the work center.  If it is, then it checks to see if a slot is available in the department.  If a department slot and a work center slot are available then it schedules the vacation. 

The Department and Work Center Slots Calendar shows how many people can take vacation on each day.  Let us examine Figure 1 below. 

Figure 1

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For the 2nd of the month we see the following: 

2  ACCOUNTING – Two people may be scheduled to take vacation .

1 *AP – The Asterisk (*) indicates that Accounts Payable is a work center in the Accounting department. 

 One person may take vacation from the AP work center if there is also 1 slot available in the Accounting department.

            2 DESIGN – indicates that 2 people may take vacation from the Design department.

            2 MAINTENANCE – indicates that 2 people may take vacation from the Maintenance department.

            1 PLANNING – indicates that 1 person may take vacation from the Planning department.

            Continued – indicates that there is an additional page of the calendar. Additional pages are generated if a company has more than 7 departments and work centers.  

If we look at the 3rd of the month we see that no more people may be scheduled in accounting.  In the PR work center we see that 1 person could be scheduled, but since there are no more slots available in accounting department as a whole, someone who wants to take off in PR is out of luck.  See Figure 2 below.

Figure 2

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Below is a larger look at the "Available Department and Vacation Slots Calendar."  This report was generated after the first scheduling pass.  If the results of the first scheduling pass look good, then it is saved.  At that point, the calendar below, shows what days may be requested by employees with additional days coming to them.



Figure 3

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