Intelligent Planning Tool

The AI Solver for Dynamic Planning

Whether in test planning, production planning, employee planning, or warehouse optimization, successful planning relies on optimally allocating the tasks at hand to the resources available. With timefold, a modern AI solver, this challenge can be mastered intelligently in any area of business. 

Why is Customized Planning Important for a Company’s Success?

Whatever the area of business, the quality of processes and that of services and products often relies heavily on the quality of planning. The determining factor is the extent to which the planning is aligned to the needs of individual business and external factors. For example, a good planning tool should enable a company to create plans based on actual resources, such as the quantity, capabilities, and available working hours of employees, equipment, and orders. And it should support the dynamic adjustment of plans in the event of changes. 

How Can timefold Facilitate Planning in Your Company? 

timefold is a cross-industry AI solver and the open source successor to OptaPlanner (since May 2023). timefold not only makes planning easier, but it also helps you plan smarter. The implemented mathematical planning algorithm has to be adapted to the specific planning problem and integrated within the relevant business process. 

timefold’s flexible architecture supports the development of customized solutions for individual planning requirements in logistics, employee planning, or the manufacturing industry. It offers a range of functions to make planning dynamic and interactive. It permits real-time changes and a division into detailed (short-term) scheduling and rough planning. It can also offer the best possible solution in the event of limited business resources or external events that affect planning.

How Does Intelligent Planning with timefold Work?   

timefold is based on Java (Spring Boot or Quarkus platforms) and requires appropriate knowledge for implementation. The tool uses a combination of mathematical algorithms to determine which plan is optimal, taking into account available resources and constraints such as available working hours, skills, dependencies, etc. A plan is then evaluated on the basis of user-defined constraints and weightings. A plan can either be rejected or given a positive/negative rating.

This is one of the many advantages of timefold. There are no strict scoring rules that define what is allowed and what is forbidden. Rather, flexible, weighted ratings can also be used to optimize soft criteria as far as possible; for example, travel time when planning routes. This combination of hard and soft constraints makes it possible to integrate even complex business logic into planning. 

How Is timefold Integrated within the Existing IT System Landscape?

timefold is an embedded, modular service that is designed to integrate with existing IT systems such as SAP ERP. timefold can be set up as an external service; for example, as part of a microservice landscape connected to the core system via API communication. Alternatively, timefold can be integrated directly into the code base of self-developed non-SAP applications. In this case, the tool can run on the system natively by calling external libraries to use the planning algorithms. 

timefold integration involves two steps: technical integration with mapping of the relevant transaction and master data, and definition of the planning logic using customer-specific ‘constraints’. 

How Can XEPTUM Assist with the Integration of timefold at Your Company?

XEPTUM can support you with both integration steps and with development of a user-friendly front end that allows the constraints to be controlled without programming knowledge. 

Classic use cases for planning with timefold include: 

  • Vehicle routing
  • Employee scheduling
  • Production planning
  • Schedule design. 

Intelligent planning can also considerably simplify test planning and quality assurance; within a larger SAP go-live project for example. timefold permits the creation and intelligent control of a test schedule in consideration of the testers available, their qualifications, working hours, and preferences. Priorities can be shifted dynamically between the different test scopes. 

XEPTUM is leading the way in the implementation of modern AI-powered planning solutions such as timefold. With our extensive business and technology expertise, we can fully customize the tool around your company’s specific requirements. With our strategic partner Flux MES, for example, we successfully implemented the timefold planning tool within an existing Manufacturing Execution System (MES). 

Get in touch with XEPTUM’s team of consultants! We look forward to helping you implement intelligent planning with timefold.