Automated Task & Resource Planner

Category: App Services
Subcategory: All

Overview

Save time and costs by automatically planning your resources. Plan faster, smarter and optimized with the Automated Task & Resource Planner App Service. Every organization faces planning challenges. They all have to provide products or services with a limited set of constrained resources (employees, assets, time and/or money). Manually planning your resources is time consuming and subject to errors. This results in inefficient planning involving additional costs, whereas an optimized planning allows you to do more business, increase customer and employee satisfaction, improve productivity and efficiency, decrease cost and reduce your organization’s ecological footprint. The Automated Task & Resource Planner is capable of solving complex planning cases by using AI to automatically create the most efficient planning based on the available resources. The planner matches “tasks” with “resources” taking a wide range of constraints into account, such as time limits, travel time, availability, capacity, time windows, minimum or maximum age, specific required equipment, minimize the total distance traveled, minimum and maximum assignments, deadlines, required certifications or skills, opening hours, priorities, etc. A task includes anything that has to take place: such as service requests, tickets, products, activities, appointments, deliveries. A resource is anything that is needed in order to execute a task: employee with a various skill set, equipment and machinery, rooms and facilities, consumable resources, etc. The user remains in control and is able to manually overwrite the suggested planning. Within the planner, it is possible to use features and create a planning that suits your business needs. The planner can be used in a variety of business scenarios. Some examples are: field service management, production line planning, delivery routing, task assigning within project management, as well as planning for call centers, construction, spaces and facilities.

Documentation

Introduction

The app service consist of a Mendix module containing a plug-and-play integration with the Automated Task & Resource Planner API and offers a wide range of possible features as listed below:

 

  • Resources with availability

Resources are available/unavailable at certain times. This determines when tasks can be assigned to the resource.

  • Tasks

Includes anything that has to take place.

  • Locations

Both tasks and resources can have locations. Resources can for instance have a start location, from which they will start their day and return to at the end of their day. Resources can also have different start locations for different days.

  • Minimize travel time

The planner can minimize travel time across all resources. Travel times are calculated from the start location of the Resource and between Tasks afterwards. Travel times can be calculated using 'as-the-crow-flies’ meaning the most direct path between two points.

  • Manual allocation of tasks to resources

The user is always able to overrule the suggested planning. The user can “pin” tasks to for instance a pre-specified employee.

  • Task Requirements

Some tasks might have requirements as to what resource can be assigned to them. Requirements can for instance be certifications, having a key, or even types of resources.

  • Task Priorities

Some tasks may need to be assigned as early as possible, regardless of the travel time. The planner allows setting Medium and High priorities for this purpose.

  • Location opening times

It might only be possible to address tasks during certain times, for example because the location is only open during office hours.

  • Manual planning of tasks at a specific time

The user is able to “pin” tasks to a certain time. The planner will assign the optimal resource to this task at the specified time.

  • Dependencies between tasks

Sometimes tasks can only be started after another task has been completed. Task B can only begin once Task A has been completed. The planner is able to take these dependencies into account.

  • Tasks with multiple resources

In some cases, tasks require multiple (different types) of resources to be on-site at the same time. The planner will plan multiple resources in such a way that they will be working on the same task at the same time.

  • Configurable overtime per resource

Allowed overtime can be specified for resources to allow them to finish up an already running task. This overtime will not be used if a task continues on the next day.

  • Preferred time windows for tasks

Some tasks can have a preference for a certain time window, but there is a certain leeway that can be given.

  • Deadlines per task

The planner will always try to respect deadlines that are given for certain tasks. However, if there are insufficient resources, the planner will notify the user in this case.

  • Task splitting

In some cases tasks can span over multiple days. The planner will automatically split these into multiple tasks. It is also possible to specify a minimum duration, so the planner will not start the task 5 minutes before the end of the day. In the same manner, it is also possible to prevent the planner from splitting up a task altogether.

 

Typical usage scenario

Scenario for implementation of the Basic features

Coffee Hardware 

The company Coffee Hardware delivers various office coffee machines to different customers within the Netherlands. An order (task) consists of the desired coffee machine and the location of the customer. In order to make sure that the daily route of the delivery driver is as efficient as possible, the schedule is based on available resources. In this case, the resources are the delivery drivers who are available/unavailable at certain times. A driver has a start time and an end time of the workday. This determines when tasks (deliveries) can be assigned to the resource (driver). Both tasks and resources have locations. Resources additionally have a 'home' location, from which they will start their day and return to at the end of their day. The planner will minimize travel time for all resources. Travel times are calculated from the start location of the drivers and between orders afterwards.

Releases

Version: 1.0.0
Framework Version: 9.4.0
Release Notes: Initial release