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What makes humans different? What attribute separates us from other species? The primary one I would suggest is our ability to visualize the future, to model in our heads what might happen and to act accordingly to maximize our desired outcome. To imagine the unimaginable and to conqueror futures yet unknown.

IFS Planning and Scheduling Optimization (IFS PSO) and its use of AI are an extension of these intuitive and innate human abilities.

IFS Planning and Scheduling Optimization

Over the last 18 years, we have been building a commercial application system, PSO focussed on the delivery of business value to service organizations, through the practical application of the most sophisticated optimization algorithms available. Combining not only pure mathematics and artificial intelligence but adding the mechanisms to relate these concepts to real business problems. The type of problems we are solving are of a scale which take them out of the academic theoretical laboratory models and simple use cases into a truly chaotic landscape of real-time decisions involving temporal and spatial constraints with business rules and real-time events. A holistic approach to delivering such a system is needed which combines mathematics, AI, architectural framework and functionality, to enable rapid modeling of the operational business environment on a scale involving 1000s of resources and activities/workflows. Which in turn gives billions of potential choices. Determining which decision is the best for the business at a point in time for these very large problem spaces, i.e. generates most value as defined by the business, is the primary purpose of PSO.

The IFS PSO solution has been adopted by several well-known service providers across many sectors compromising telecommunications, utilities, construction services and field services sectors; as well as asset-centric service providers. Customers include Cubic Transportation (London Underground), Interserve and Emirates Airline and many more. It is very often the key differentiator in many deals. This has been achieved without any custom modifications to the optimization AI. This ensures that a consistent high-quality AI-based product can be delivered and deployed either on premises or in the cloud.

Planning and Scheduling Optimization

A key benefit to all customers is the ability to have multi-time horizon planning for strategic modeling, tactical planning, appointment booking and operational dynamic optimization. With multi-time horizon planning, you have the tools to cover all elements of the delivery process, starting with dynamic and adaptive scheduling, appointment booking, through resource and capacity planning, through “what-if?” scenario planning, and countless other functions. This means you have the tools to enable frictionless service delivery, in the back-office, with focus on today, next week, next month, or next year.

IFS PSO solution is all about optimization using AI. The IFS solution facilitates streamlined delivery, enabling our customers to realize operational efficiencies and improve customer satisfaction and most importantly make the best decisions possible. The solution delivers dynamic real-time scheduling optimization embedded in the FSM/ERP service functions, ensuring efficient and consistent service delivery. It also evaluates various criteria and properly assigns work priorities, staffing and work shifts. For long-term planning used in business development, the platform creates a business model to accommodate varying project requirements. Such as but not limited to:

  • To minimize operational costs
  • To enable the workforce to generate more value to the business
  • To balance the work fairly across the workforce if required
  • To arrive at all jobs on time, within the agreed time limits and SLAs
  • To be able to monitor the current status and operational situation
  • To enable the business to cope with varying workloads, new contract or SLAs
  • To manage by exception

Planning and Scheduling Optimization

Using the IFS solution results in:

  • Instant business updates – leading to improved project visibility
  • Better decision making – leading to value generation and cost efficiencies
  • Actionable alerts for specified events – leading to improved customer satisfaction

The solution enables IFS customers to achieve:

  • Improved customer satisfaction
  • Increased agility of operations
  • Better visibility into service level status and achievement
  • Dynamic AI scheduling of resources, in real-time
  • Reduced operational costs to achieve a desired business outcome
  • Better decision making over medium and long-term allocation of capital and resources

Crucially the main benefit is not about operational efficiency and cost savings but about reducing ambiguity from the decision-making process over many time horizons. All these capabilities are underpinned by the same AI technology with specific business functionality for each use case and time horizon. Business rules change, priorities change, the environment in which a business operates changes and all on differing time horizons.

The flux of events and ideas on each time horizon needs to be modeled and rationalized into a meaningful set of information to enable the future to be simulated, thus removing ambiguity from the business environment, providing a solid basis for decision making at the strategic, tactical and operational level. PSO provides a simulated digital twin of the organization, which is responsive, scalable and meaningful to the stakeholders all through the application of embedded AI within PSO service functions. That is IFS Automation using AI, which is PSO. Our very own crystal ball.

Learn more about IFS Planning and Scheduling Optimization.

Planning and Scheduling Optimization

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