TPAC Manpower Planning

TPACTM ManPower Planning is part of the TPACTM suite of crew planning tools. It is designed to assist in medium to long-term forecasting of crew requirements. Typically this equates to the six-month to five-year time frame. It allows the user to experiment with different scenarios to see their effect on training, recruitment, working time and leave by matching future manpower numbers and skills with the business's commercial and logistical activities.


What is ManPower Planning?

ManPower Planning is the long-term strategic process of managing the human resources within a transport enterprise. Typically it consists of the following steps:

  • Profiling the current manpower levels.
  • Modeling the current and future skill requirements based on predicted equipment changes and schedules.
  • Developing recruitment and training programs to gracefully manage change.

What are the Challenges of ManPower Planning?

A transport enterprise's most important asset is its staff. Without them the enterprise cannot operate its equipment and service its customers. Despite this, staffing is possibly the least understood aspect of an enterprise.

The typical transport enterprise can with great detail answer questions about the average age, rate of replacement, average cost of unit and retirement trends for its fleet, yet it is not able to answer similar questions about its staff base.

Within a transport enterprise, business driven changes to its schedule and fleet will have an impact on its staff base. Failure to manage the acquisition of new staff to replace those who are retiring and natural attrition can lead to a crippling of the enterprise's ability to deliver its services. Thus neglecting to manage manpower can lead to commercial losses.

A transport enterprise's staff have highly specific skills and training that cannot be easily brought online, so quite often when a staff shortage is realized, it can still take a considerable time before new replacement staff are ready.

Conversely, recruitment and training are expensive exercises for a transport enterprise to undertake so it needs to be sure that these efforts are required in order to meet future goals.

How is TPAC ManPower Planning used?

TPACTM ManPower Planning has been designed to handle all manpower planning requirements for a transport enterprise including:

  • Measurement of current operations.
  • Modeling of future service requirements through the use of either actual schedule and pairing data or statistical projections.
  • Development of an optimal crew plan that considers three main controllable factors:
    1. the working time per period, including the modulation of credit hours, overtime, leave and reserve
    2. the training of crew groups
    3. the recruitment of new crew members

Advantages of TPAC ManPower Planning

The TPACTM ManPower Optimizer has the following advantages:

  • Better utilization of staff.
  • Better human relations.
  • Higher productivity.
  • Smoother transition of business driven change.
  • Staff attrition/retirement rates, existing leave balances, numbers of supernumary/administrative crew, restrictions on working hours over time (e.g. yearly duty limits), training time and resource (classrooms, simulators, trainer) limits are all considered.
  • Fast turn-around of scenarios, enabling the planner to refine the details of the plan, and to test multiple scenarios quickly.

Our optimizers are suitable for large problems that are made up of thousands of staff.

User Interface

The user interface TPACTM Workbench allows the user to perform a number of optimization runs each with different run parameters and to then compare the results. Multiple simultaneous runs can be performed, and run progress can be monitored in real time. Runs can be scheduled to maximize the usage of available hardware. Runs can be monitored with "live graphs" to assess the quality of a solution before the run has completed. Results from an optimization run can also be edited to create a final solution or to "warm" start another optimization run.



Our optimizers are suitable for large problems that are made up of thousands of staff. Our technology can be scaled up on multiple CPUs and/or machines through the use of threading and scheduling.


TPACTM ManPower Planning is a Unix based technology that harnesses the power of FICO's Xpress optimizer. TPACTM ManPower Planning is made available through the TPAC Framework that includes:

  • TPACTM Workbench -- A Java-based graphical user interface designed to support analysis, editing and interaction with our optimizers on any desktop environment.
  • TPACTM Connect -- A web enabled remote access and systems integration platform.
  • TPACTM Rules -- A common rules repository designed to assure consistency of business rules across the enterprise.
  • TPACTM Reports -- A reports package with a library of common charts and metrics that can be customized and expanded upon.