New Zealand’s Manufacturers & Primary Industry processors know the impact that absenteeism can have on their operations_

The challenge:

Inefficiency and missed targets

Planning and scheduling operations to effectively deliver customer requirements can be turned on their head with unplanned leave, creating inefficient operations, frustrations for team members who are present, and leaders trying to meet targets.

To allow New Zealand’s manufacturing and primary industries to sustainably thrive and deliver, they need to be provided with modern tools that allow them to tackle this issue in ways they haven’t before.

The solution:

A proactive approach

Dsifer has developed a tool to predict absenteeism on a daily and weekly basis for manufacturers and primary processors who want to move to a proactive absenteeism approach.

Understanding the key factors that influence absenteeism allows for a model to be established which can visualise and forecast, in real-time, a likely absenteeism profile for the following week. This allows for both effective planning and scheduling, making operations more efficient and resilient to customer demand as well as any proactive interventions that can be targeted to the required teams. This means that even at peak demand periods, plants can plan to run at their optimum, while the model provides innovative insights to people and teams around how they can influence culture and triggers directly impacting absenteeism.

The details:


Firstly, we take a full history of rostering information from the business, giving us a breakdown of unplanned vs planned leave, when it occurred and any other information such as length of time off and any reasons provided.


From this information we combine other data sets to determine those factors which influence absenteeism the most.These data sets typically include overtime profiles, role, department, seasons, weather, cultural or sporting events, days of the week/month, demographic factors and any industry or site-specific factors. Using machine learning and advanced statistical techniques, a model of absenteeism probability can be established by our data team; with a live feed of data, the model can constantly adapt and evolve to changing trends.


Next, we produce a visually compelling front end to the tool that allows the relevant leaders (access controlled where necessary) to interact with the model, understanding what their likely workforce numbers will be for a given period.

As is the Dsifer way, we do not just produce advanced data driven models, but provide interventions to get the results for our clients. In the case of absenteeism this involves supporting on site in two ways.
1. Firstly, with front line leaders or department managers, coaching them how to use the tool to better understand their resourcing challenge and feed into the planning & scheduling process to ensure this is reflected.
2. The second involves working directly with the senior leadership at plants to identify the strategic initiatives that will help improve absenteeism culture, using the data driven models. Approaching the challenge from two angles allows better short-term delivery and efficiency performance due to better planning, but also improve longer term capacity from targeted absenteeism initiatives.

Knowing what teams will be available allows you to effectively plan your operations and delivery schedule and more accurately meeting customer demand.  As a result, day-to-day your operational production can be optimised while also gaining an indepth understaninding into the underlying levers directly impacting absenteeism across your plant(s).

With the two levels of interaction, at the front-line leader/planning level and the senior strategic level, our absenteeism tools deliver benefit in the short and long term.  This allows immediate  improvement in flexible and optimised planning, whilst in the longer term building a better absenteeism understanding which is then used to implement interventions that address the root cause factors.

Our partners are organisations who have challenges around absenteeism affecting their operations. We work with companies who have historical information about their employees’ absenteeism and wish to be able to take a proactive approach to tackling the issue. 

Does your business face operational challenges due to absenteeism?