Conditions and bid preferences
This topic provides an overview of the major bid preferences available in the PBS system.
We estimate that this will take 5 minutes to complete.
Bid preferences are contained in Bid Groups.
Not all bid preferences are available in all configurations. If you do not see a bid preference that is mentioned in this topic when you log in, then your system is not configured to make it available.
Every Pairing Bid Group starts with a Pairing Bid Group line item and ends with an Award Pairings line.
You cannot move or delete these system-generated bid preferences.
Other system-generated bid groups like this one vary depending upon what reserve module you have.
The Award Pairings line tells the system to award whatever pairings may be left in the available pairing pool if the system could not build a complete bid with your bid preferences.
Each bid preference that you enter has its own associated color to help you identify bid types at a glance.
Now, let's look at some of the different bid preferences.
The order in which the bid preferences appear in the bid group is the order in which they are considered, so position them mindfully.
If, for example, you have a bid preference to avoid all 8AM departures and also have another bid preference to award pairings only for Fridays at 8AM following it, the Friday pairing will never be met. Changing the order of these bid preferences results in Friday pairings being considered, with the rest of the week's 8AM departures not considered.
'Negative' and 'positive' bid preferences are an important concept: Negative bids remove pairings from the available pool, while positive bids add pairings to your preferred pairing pool.
Prefer Off and Avoid pairings are examples of negative bid preferences. Award pairings are positive bid preferences.
"Prefer Off" preferences appear with yellow coloring. These are negative bids--they exclude pairings from consideration during awards. They request dates or days off during the bid period. You can select days of the week, specific days or ranges of dates, and times of the day that you want to be free of duty.
"Avoid Pairings" bid preferences, shown with an orange marker, are also negative preferences. They identify the things you don't want to do. These are unwanted pairings or pairing criteria for the current bid period. They contain most of the same criteria as award pairings. Remember, order of bid preference matters--these preferences can impact any award pairing bid preferences that follow them in your bid.
"Award Pairings" bid preferences show in green. These identify the things that you want to do. They are positive preferences that add pairings to your block for the current bid period. These bid preferences include options that identify particular characteristics of pairings that you like, such as types of layovers, duty duration, pairing credit, and so forth.
Note that line item 5 contains a comma-separated preference (Monday, Tuesday). Items and preferences with a comma-separated list such as dates, pairings, etc., are considered to have equal preference. If you have a specific preference, it must be in its own bid line, included in the list in priority order.
The final bid in blue is an "instruction bid" preference. These bid preferences provide special instructions that tell the scheduler how to manage specific bid preferences, or what to do if it can't construct a legal block using your initial bid. Instruction bid preferences tell the scheduler what restrictions to remove when processing your bid to complete your block. In this example, this bid tells the scheduler to move to the next bid group if a complete block cannot be built using the preceding bid preferences. If you use this bid preference, you should have another bid group below it.
"Waive" bid preferences are colored sky (light) blue as in line 9. These tell the scheduler that you want certain rules adjusted or disregarded while your block is built. Some rules can be completely disregarded, while others can only be adjusted. The rules that you can waive are all available within the interface. If a rule is not visible, you cannot waive it.
Let's take a look at how to set a condition on your bid preferences.
Click the Add Bid Group button.
Click the Apply button.
You'll find a list of all available conditions within the Set Condition preference option.
Click Set Condition.
Conditions are global in the sense that they apply to the entire bid group and normally are placed as the top line item of the bid group.
For the purposes of this demonstration, let's select the Minimum Credit Window condition.
Click Minimum Credit Window.
Click the Apply button.
Congratulations! You have successfully set a condition, and learned about how conditions and bid preferences work.