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Abstract

Effective management of resources is an essential task for companies that are managing different projects. It is important for them to efficiently organize and allocate personnel as well as equipment for different projects and tasks, same time avoiding idle resources. Having the information about the availability of the resource as well as having them available at the right time for the activities play a vital role in managing the costs and smoothly executing the project activities. This study makes an attempt to establish the overwhelming importance of resource scheduling to the achievement of organizational efficiency in operational activities. The objectives of the study are to: measure the efficiency of resource scheduling, evaluate the contribution of resource scheduling to operations and to establish how resource utilization can be maximized. The design employed for this study was that of the quantitative research design and data was collected from 50 respondents representing staff of Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation Ltd, Krishna Amul Parlour through a structured questionnaire. To examine the hypotheses of the study, cross-tabulation analysis, correlation analysis as well as chi-square test were employed as statistical tools for analysing the study variables. The findings of the study reveal that effective resource scheduling has the capacity to impact organizational output and operations positively hence must be a critical management tool. It is therefore recommended that in order to allocate the right resource for a specific activity, it is important to know whether the resource has the correct skillset to perform that particular task.
IRACST – International Journal of Commerce, Business and Management (IJCBM), ISSN: 2319–2828
Vol. 6, No.5 Sep-Oct 2017
16
EFFECTIVE RESOURCE SCHEDULING: A
PRIMER FOR ORGANIZATIONAL EFFICIENCY
1Brako Prince
(Research Scholar)
Sam Higginbottom University of Agric., Tech., Science,
India
2Dr. Sebastian T. Joseph
(Senior Assistant Professor)
Sam Higginbottom University of Agric., Tech., Science,
India
3Queen Esther Brako
All Nations University, Dept of Business Studies.
Ghana
Abstract: Effective management of resources is an
essential task for companies that are managing
different projects. It is important for them to
efficiently organize and allocate personnel as well
as equipment for different projects and tasks, same
time avoiding idle resources. Having the
information about the availability of the resource as
well as having them available at the right time for
the activities play a vital role in managing the costs
and smoothly executing the project activities. This
study makes an attempt to establish the
overwhelming importance of resource scheduling to
the achievement of organizational efficiency in
operational activities. The objectives of the study
are to: measure the efficiency of resource
scheduling, evaluate the contribution of resource
scheduling to operations and to establish how
resource utilization can be maximized. The design
employed for this study was that of the quantitative
research design and data was collected from 50
respondents representing staff of Gujarat
Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation Ltd,
Krishna Amul Parlour through a structured
questionnaire. To examine the hypotheses of the
study, cross-tabulation analysis, correlation
analysis as well as chi-square test were employed
as statistical tools for analysing the study variables.
The findings of the study reveal that effective
resource scheduling has the capacity to impact
organizational output and operations positively
hence must be a critical management tool. It is
therefore recommended that in order to allocate the
right resource for a specific activity, it is important
to know whether the resource has the correct
skillset to perform that particular task.
KEYWORDS: Resources, Scheduling, Efficiency,
Projects, Cost, Time
INTRODUCTION
The concept of material or resource scheduling over
the years have evolved into an important and
indispensable organizational managerial activity
that largely spells the failure or success of most
projects undertaken by organizations. Most
organizations make every effort to maintain a
balanced resource and activity ratio as there is the
need to ensure the availability of sufficient
resources to fuel the daily operations of the
organization. As a matter of economic knowledge,
resources are highly scanty in supply and so
extreme measures and techniques are imperative to
be devised in keeping them (resources) in effective
and efficient utilization. It is against this backdrop
that the proper allocation and scheduling of
resources or capacity to meet the daily operational
needs of the organization come as a timely and
serious issue for discussion. What then is Resource
Scheduling?
According to the International Project Management
Association (IPMA), Resource Scheduling herein
referred to as Capacity Scheduling is a collection of
techniques used to calculate the resources required
to deliver the work and when they will be required.
IRACST – International Journal of Commerce, Business and Management (IJCBM), ISSN: 2319–2828
Vol. 6, No.5 Sep-Oct 2017
17
Scheduling involves taking decisions regarding the
allocation of available capacity or resources
(equipment, labor and space) to jobs, activities,
tasks or customers over time. It is the set of actions
and methodology used by organizations to
efficiently assign the resources they have to jobs,
tasks or projects they need to complete, and
schedule start and end dates for each task or project
based on resource availability. Depending on
industry, resources can be people (either employees
or independent contractors), equipment and
machines (this is frequent for construction,
manufacturing or maintenance businesses) or rooms
and facilities. There may also be a need for
consumable resources (for instance, materials and
parts for manufacturing). Scheduling thus results in
a time-phased plan, or schedule of activities
(Brucker et al, 1999). The schedule indicates what
is to be done, when, by whom and with what
equipments.
BRIEF ORGANIZATIONAL PROFILE –
GUJARAT COOPERATIVE MILK
MARKETING FEDERATION LTD
(GCMMFL)
Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation
Ltd. (GCMMFL), is India's largest food product
marketing organization with annual turnover (2015-
16) US$ 3.5 billion. Its daily milk procurement is
approx. 16.97 million lit per day from 18,545
village milk cooperative societies, 18 member
unions covering 33 districts, and 3.6 million milk
producer members. It is the Apex organization of
the Dairy Cooperatives of Gujarat, popularly known
as 'AMUL', which aims to provide remunerative
returns to the farmers and also serve the interest of
consumers by providing quality products which are
good value for money. Its success has not only been
emulated in India but serves as a model for rest of
the World. It is the exclusive marketing
organization of 'Amul' and 'Sagar' branded
products. It operates through 56 Sales Offices and
has a dealer network of 10000 dealers and 10 lakh
retailers, one of the largest such networks in India.
Its product range comprises milk, milk powder,
health beverages, ghee, butter, cheese, Pizza cheese,
Ice-cream, Paneer, chocolates, and traditional
Indian sweets, etc.
PROBLEM STATEMENT
Many companies continue to battle with wastages of
various forms as a results of their inability to
properly schedule when and how resources must be
deployed to accomplish organisational goals. This
has led to inefficiencies in their daily operations and
outputs. This study therefore sets out to analyse
ways by which resources can be effectively
scheduled so as to lead to organizational efficiency.
OBJECTIVES OF STUDY
1. To measure the efficiency of resource scheduling
at GCMMFL.
2. To evaluate the contribution of resource
scheduling to the operations of GCMMFL.
3. To establish how to maximize the utilization of
resources at GCMMFL
REVIEW OF LITERATURE
In their views, Silver, Pyke and Peterson (1998)
indicated that scheduling seeks to achieve several
conflicting objectives: high efficiency, low
inventories and good customer service. Scheduling
can be classified by the type of process: line, batch
and project. It is basically the management activity
of assigning an appropriate number of workers to
jobs during each day of work, determining when an
activity should start or end, depending on its -
duration, predecessor activity (or activities),
predecessor relationships, resource availability, and
target completion date of the project (Barcelo et al,
1986). In the light of this, Weglarz (2010) offers a
comprehensive exposition by explaining that there
are two broad categories of resource – consumable
and re-usable. Scheduling these resources ensures:
efficient and effective utilization; confidence that
the schedule is realistic; early identification of
resource capacity bottlenecks and conflicts. To
properly schedule resources, it is very essential to
administer a three resource scheduling procedure as
espoused by the International Project Management
Association (IPMA). The resource scheduling
process has three steps: allocation; aggregation;
scheduling.
IRACST – International Journal of Commerce, Business and Management (IJCBM), ISSN: 2319–2828
Vol. 6, No.5 Sep-Oct 2017
18
Scheduling is big business according to Dr. George
Nemhauser (2015), an optimization researcher. He
continues to say; in fact, producing a balanced
schedule is more than a matter of simply running
the numbers. Whether you are scheduling
personnel, aircraft fleets, ocean containers, or even
Major League Baseball games, creating a balanced
schedule is extremely complex because of the vast
number of factors that must be taken into account.
As financial and competitive stakes in industry
continue to rise, so does the complexity of
scheduling.
In response to industry challenges, the Stewart
School of Industrial & Systems Engineering (ISyE)
established a Center of Focused Research in
Resource Scheduling to develop models and
algorithms that provide practical solutions for large-
scale scheduling problems, scheduling scarce
resources under complex constraints, scheduling
issues including variability and uncertainty, and
integrating-collaboration and optimization in the
development of schedules. Specific research
projects include: Per-Seat On-Demand Air
Transportation (development of an efficient control
system for aircraft to service individual on-demand
customers with personal scheduling); Sports
Scheduling (developing schedules for sports
including Atlantic Coast Conference Basketball and
Major League Baseball); Routing and scheduling of
oil tankers to get the right products in the right place
at the right time; Production Sequencing and
Scheduling (development of algorithms to minimize
scrap loss while effectively utilizing material
handling resources, including robotic packing, in
continuous production environments such as plate
glass manufacturing. Creating effective scheduling
systems is an extremely important factor in reducing
costs, improving safety, and increasing efficiency in
a variety of industries).
Kirchmier (1994) and Harrison (1991) explicitly
shared thoughts on 'Finite capacity scheduling' as its
so-called because it takes capacity into account
from the very outset and 'Infinite capacity
scheduling'. Finite scheduling calculates the start
and finish dates for operations in the order. It is a
detailed scheduling strategy with which you
schedule orders and operations, taking into account
the existing resource load. A resource overload
cannot occur. The schedule is based on the capacity
available. In manufacturing, finite capacity
scheduling is an approach to understanding how
much work can be produced in a certain time
period, taking limitations on different resources into
consideration. The goal of finite capacity scheduling
is to ensure that work proceeds at an even and
efficient pace throughout the plant (Harrison,
1991). Software applications for determining the
best way to schedule work are called 'decision
support tools.' Finite scheduling tools contrast with
infinite capacity scheduling tools. Infinite
scheduling tools, which are simpler, cannot account
for limitations on the system that occur in real time.
Infinite capacity scheduling uses the customers'
order due date and then tries to reconcile the result
with the capacity available (Kirchmier, 1994).
SCHEDULING MODEL – THE RESOURCE-
CONSTRAINED PROJECT SCHEDULING
PROBLEM (RCPSP)
The resource-constrained project scheduling
problem (RCPSP) is a very general scheduling
problem which may be used to model many
applications in practice (e.g. a production process, a
software project, a school timetable, and the
construction of a house or the renovation of an
airport). The objective is to schedule some activities
over time such that scarce resource capacities are
respected and a certain objective function is
optimized. Examples for resources may be
machines, people, rooms, money or energy, which
are only available with limited capacities. As
objective functions, for example, the project
duration, the deviation from deadlines, or costs
concerning resources may be minimized. The
resource-constrained project scheduling problem
(RCPSP) may be formulated as follows. Given are
a time horizon [0, T], n activities (jobs) i = 1. . . n
and r renewable resources k = 1, . . . , r. A constant
amount of Rk units of resource k is available at any
time t = 0. . . T. Activity i must be processed for pi
time units. During this time period a constant
amount of rik units of resource k is occupied. All
IRACST – International Journal of Commerce, Business and Management (IJCBM), ISSN: 2319–2828
Vol. 6, No.5 Sep-Oct 2017
19
data are assumed to be integers (Bucker et al,
2012).
THE GANTT ACTIVITY-TIME CHART
A Gantt chart is a type of bar chart, devised by
Henry Gantt in the 1910s, that illustrates a project
schedule. Gantt charts illustrate the start and finish
dates of the terminal elements and summary
elements of a project. Terminal elements and
summary elements comprise the work breakdown
structure of the project. Modern Gantt charts also
show the dependency (i.e., precedence network)
relationships between activities. Gantt charts can be
used to show current schedule status using percent-
complete shadings and a vertical "TODAY" line as
shown here.
A Gantt chart showing three kinds of schedule
dependencies (in red) and percent complete
indications
HYPOTHESIS OF THE STUDY
In trying to measure whether effective resource
scheduling leads to organisational efficiency, the
study attended to the following hypothesis:
H0: Resource Scheduling does not lead to
organisational efficiency.
H1: Resource Scheduling does lead to
organisational efficiency.
METHODOLOGY
The design employed for this study was that of a
quantitative research design which sought to
examine how effective resource scheduling can
contribute to organizational efficiency. Quantitative
research is the systematic empirical investigation of
observable phenomena via statistical, mathematical
or computational techniques. The objective of
quantitative research is to develop and employ
mathematical models, theories and/or hypotheses
pertaining to phenomena. The process of
measurement is central to quantitative research
because it provides the fundamental connection
between empirical observation and mathematical
expression of quantitative relationships.
The population for the study was the employees of
Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation
Ltd, Krishna Amul Parlour (Allahabad). Simple
random sampling method was employed to select
the total sample size of 50 respondents consisting of
35 staff and 15 management members of the
company. Data was collected for this research using
both primary and secondary sources. In gathering
for the primary data, a questionnaire was issued out
to gather information from the respondents.
Secondary data was also gathered by reviewing
textbooks, related literature, articles, and journals.
Correlation coefficient method was used to
ascertain the relationships that exist between the
hypotheses. Analysis of data and testing of
hypotheses were performed using SPSS version 16.
DISCUSSION AND INTERPRETATION
A. EFFICIENCY OF RESOURCE
SCHEDULING
H0: Method of scheduling does not determine
efficient use of resources
H1: Method of scheduling determines efficient use
of resources
IRACST – International Journal of Commerce, Business and Management (IJCBM), ISSN: 2319–2828
Vol. 6, No.5 Sep-Oct 2017
20
Table 1a: Cross-tabulation Analysis of Scheduling methods and their Efficiency
Method of scheduling
resources
Manually usi
n
Automation Total
Count 18 14 32 Yes
% of Total 36.0% 28.0% 64.0%
Count 0 10 10 No
% of Total .0% 20.0% 20.0%
Count 0 8 8
Whether method of
resource scheduling is
Efficient
Not Sure
% of Total .0% 16.0% 16.0%
Count 18 32 50 Total
% of Total 36.0% 64.0% 100.0%
Source: Field Survey
The table 1 above sought to establish the efficiency
of scheduling methods as used by GCMMFL. It is
found that out of the total respondents of 50, 32
representing 64.0 per cent disclosed that the
company automates its scheduling methods and that
28.0 per cent as against 10.0 per cent believe that
this method of scheduling is very efficient.
However, 16.0 per cent were totally not sure as to
how effective automation has been to the company.
Conversely, it can be observed that 18 of the
respondents representing 36.0 percent were of the
view that manual scheduling by the use of
manpower is efficient as compared to automation.
By the proportional difference, it can be established
that manual scheduling methods have proven to be
more efficient.
Table 1b – Chi Square Test
Value df
Asymp. Sig.
(2-sided)
Pearson Chi-Square 15.820a2 .000
Likelihood Ratio 21.482 2 .000
Linear-by-Linear
Association 13.084 1 .000
N of Valid Cases 50
a. 2 cells (33.3%) have expected count less than 5. The
minimum expected count is 2.88.
The value of the computed chi-square is 15.820,
which is highly significant at 0.05 level of
significance with a p-value of 0.000 exactly below
the assumed level of significance of 0.05. Since the
IRACST – International Journal of Commerce, Business and Management (IJCBM), ISSN: 2319–2828
Vol. 6, No.5 Sep-Oct 2017
21
Chi-square value is significant and p-value< 0.05,
the null hypothesis is rejected at the acceptance of
the alternative hypothesis. It can therefore be
asserted that the method of resource scheduling
employed can to a larger extent determine the
efficient use of resources thereby leading to
organizational efficiency.
Table1c–Cramer’s V test of strength
Symmetric Measures
Value Approx. Sig.
Phi .562 .000 Nominal by Nominal
Cramer's V .562 .000
Measure of
Agreement
Kappa .a
N of Valid Cases 50
The value of Cramer V of 0.562 test the strength between method of scheduling and efficiency.
There is therefore a fairly stronger relationship between method of scheduling and efficiency.
IRACST – International Journal of Commerce, Business and Management (IJCBM), ISSN: 2319–2828
Vol. 6, No.5 Sep-Oct 2017
22
B. IMPACT OF RESOURCE SCHEDULING ON OUTPUT
Table 2a. Cross-tabulation Analysis of the Impact of Scheduling and respondents’
consent/otherwise
Impact of resource
scheduling
Positive
impact
Negative
impact Total
Count 35 0 35 Strongly Agree
% 83.3% .0% 70.0%
Count 7 1 8 Agree
% 16.7% 12.5% 16.0%
Count 0 2 2 Neutral
% .0% 25.0% 4.0%
Count 0 4 4 Disagree
% .0% 50.0% 8.0%
Count 0 1 1
Consent/Otherwise
Strongly disagree
% .0% 12.5% 2.0%
Count 42 8 50 Total
% 100.0% 100.0% 100.0%
Source: Field survey
It is observed from table 4 that out of a total
respondent of 50, 42 believe that resource
scheduling has had a positive impact on the
organization’s operations and output whilst 8
have an opposite view. Even though 83.0 per
cent strongly agree to this assertion, 12.5 per
cent strongly disagree and believe that
resource scheduling has had a negative
impact on output.
Table 2b Test of Reliability
Reliability Statistics
Cronbach's Alpha
Cronbach's Alpha
Based on
Standardized
Items N of Items
.718 .937 2
The Cronbach’s Alpha of 0.718 or 71.8 per cent suggests that the items have a relatively high
internal consistency and hence reliable, therefore must be accepted.
IRACST – International Journal of Commerce, Business and Management (IJCBM), ISSN: 2319–2828
Vol. 6, No.5 Sep-Oct 2017
23
C. COST AND TIME MINIMIZATION THROUGH EFFECTIVE RESOURCE SCHEDULING
Table 3a. Whether effective scheduling minimizes Cost and Time of operation
Frequency Percent Valid
Percent
Cumulative
Percent
Yes 36 72.0 72.0 72.0
No 12 24.0 24.0 96.0
Not sure 2 4.0 4.0 100.0
Valid
Total 50 100.0 100.0
Source: Field survey
The table 3a above aimed to establish whether
effective scheduling of resources has any effect on
cost and time minimization of operation. It can be
observed that 36 of the respondents representing
72.0 per cent answered in the affirmative whilst 12
representing 24.0 per cent categorically answered
‘no’ to suggest that resource scheduling has no
effect on the minimization of cost and time of
operation. 2 were however unsure representing 4.0
per cent. It can be concluded that indeed effective
resource does minimizes cost and time of operation.
Table 3b Correlation between Method of Scheduling and minimization of Cost and
Time
Cost and
Time
minimization
Method of
scheduling
resources
Pearson Correlation 1 .440**
Sig. (2-tailed) .001
Cost and Time
minimization
N 50 50
Pearson Correlation .440** 1
Sig. (2-tailed) .001
Method of scheduling
resources
N 50 50
**. Correlation is significant at the 0.01 level (2-tailed).
The correlation table above sought to establish
the proportion or degree of strength or
association that exist between resource
scheduling and its ability to minimize cost and
time of operation. It can be observed that the
Pearson correlation coefficient r, between item
1 and item 2 is 0.440 or 44% given 50 number
of observations with a p-value of 0.01 at 2-
tailed. It can therefore be concluded that the
correlation coefficient r of 0.440 suggest a
positively weak relationship between item 1
and item 2.
IRACST – International Journal of Commerce, Business and Management (IJCBM), ISSN: 2319–2828
Vol. 6, No.5 Sep-Oct 2017
24
FINDINGS, CONCLUSION AND
RECOMMENDATIONS
Findings
The findings of the study reveal that
scheduling resources is very crucial and
imperative in order to increase organizational
efficiency. It is therefore very important also
to opt for a method that can perfectly schedule
the available but limited resources so as to
optimize their utilization. It was again
revealed that effective resource scheduling has
the capacity to impact organizational output
and operations positively hence must be a
critical management tool. There is also the
possibility of reducing cost and time spent on
projects and tasks to a fairly greater margin
when resources are effectively scheduled to
meet tasks.
Conclusion and Recommendation
Resource scheduling is very key to
organizational efficiency and overall growth.
Resources are one of the most expensive and
precious assets for organizations. Scheduling
them is however very crucial as waste of them
through inappropriate utilization can spell
‘doom’ and failure for the organization.
Resource scheduling is therefore designed to
provide effective work schedules and the
efficient utilization of resources.
It can therefore be recommended that in order
to allocate the right resource for a specific
activity, it is important to know whether the
resource has the correct skillset to perform that
particular task.
REFERENCE
Harrison. M., "MRP II & Finite Capacity
Scheduling - a combination for the 90's",
Works Management, December 1991.
J. Błażewicz, J. Barcelo, W. Kubiak, H. Rock,
Scheduling tasks on two processors with
deadlines and additional resources, European
J. Oper. Res. 26, 1986, 364–370.
J. Weglarz, Project scheduling with
continuously-divisible, doubly constrained
resources, Management Sci. 27, 2010, 1040–
1052.
Kirchmier. W., "Finite capacity Scheduling",
Proceedings of the 37th International
Conference APICS, Falls Road, VA, 1994.
P. Brucker, A. Drexl, R. Möhring, K.
Neumann, E. Pesch, Resource-constrained
project scheduling: notation, classification,
models, and methods, European J. Oper. Res.
112, 1999, 3–41.
P. Brucker and S. Knust, Complex Scheduling,
GOR-Publications, DOI 10.1007/978-3-642-
23929-8_1, © Springer-Verlag Berlin
Heidelberg 2012
Silver, E.A., Pyke, D.F., Peterson, R., 1998.
Inventory Management and Production
Planning and Scheduling, third ed. New York.
Supply Chain Logistics Institute. (2015).
Georgia Tech. Retrieved from
https://www.scl.gatech.edu/research/resource-
scheduling.
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This paper deals with a class of project scheduling problems concerning the allocation of continuously divisible resources under conditions in which both total usage at every moment and total consumption over the period of project duration are constrained. Typical examples of such resources, called doubly constrained, are money or energy, when the constraint on power or the rate of expenditure cannot be ignored as neither, of course, can. the constraint on resource consumption. Also manpower must often be considered as a doubly constrained resource. Mathematical models of project activities in which performing speeds are continuous functions of resource amounts are considered. The objective is a schedule which minimizes project duration. Thus, the problems considered are generalizations of both the classical project scheduling problem and the time-cost trade-off problem. The properties of optimal schedules are given for strictly concave, concave and convex activity models. On the basis of these properties, methods for finding optimal schedules are described for independent and dependent activities. We also consider the minimum resource consumption ensuring minimum project duration for a given level of resource usage, and the minimum level of resource usage ensuring minimum project duration for a given level of resource consumption. Possible generalizations of the presented results are indicated.
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The deterministic scheduling model studied in this paper involves a finite set of identical processors, a finite set of additional resources and a finite set of tasks to be executed, each requiring one processor and specified amounts of additional resources during a known amount of time. Each task is to be completed before its deadline. We establish the complexity status of the two major open nonpreemptive scheduling problems of this type. That is, we prove NP-hardness of two scheduling problems with two processors and unit processing times of all the tasks; the first one has one resource type available in a specified amount, the second one has an arbitrary number of resourcers, each available in amount of one unit. These results are complementary to a previous paper by the first author, where a polynomial-time algorithm was presented for an arbitrary number of processors, one resource type and zero-one resource requirements of the tasks. In addition, in the present paper new restricted versions of One-in-three 3 Sat are also proved to be NP-hard. These heavily restricted versions promise to be useful in other NP-hardness proofs.
MRP II & Finite Capacity Scheduling -a combination for the 90's", Works Management
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  • Georgia Tech
Georgia Tech. Retrieved from https://www.scl.gatech.edu/research/resourcescheduling.
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P. Brucker and S. Knust, Complex Scheduling, GOR-Publications, DOI 10.1007/978-3-64223929-8_1, © Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012