In planning time, we waste time.
A contradiction that sparked the will to create the optimal solution.
The challenge addressed by Optimal Solutions presented itself early on for founder Patrik Eveborn. With a mother who worked as a course director and spent a considerable amount of time preparing her schedules, Patrik began to wonder if it was possible to automate the scheduling process.
Eveborn realised the potential and was convinced that there must be smarter solutions. When he later went on to study optimisation theory at university, he was introduced to the technology that could solve the problem.
As a PhD student in optimisation theory at Linköping University, Eveborn conducted more detailed work aimed at making the solution a reality by developing methods for school scheduling together with supervisor Mikael Rönnqvist. In 1999, Eveborn founded the company Optimal Solutions, which focused on personnel scheduling, and the first customers were a TV production company, Kolmården Wildlife Park and HM Rowells.
Solutions were developed to cover increasingly complex situations, and areas of use included healthcare services for the optimisation of daily visiting schedules using the program Laps Care. Many municipal authorities purchased Laps Care, and success was not long in coming, as the solution was praised by both Dagens Medicin and the Association of European Operational Research Societies. This success led to Tieto, as systems supplier for Swedish municipal authorities, purchasing the entire Laps Care operation.
Optimal Solutions began working in a more customised manner, and developed custom tools under the name of Laps Field Service. Uses of the solution include allocating the right service assignment to the right person, which involves taking account of variables such as efficient travel, staff skills, service levels and availability of spare parts. Laps Field Service was supplied to Ricoh in Norway and France and quickly attracted customers from across Europe.
Over time, Optimal Solutions has taken on more advanced planning challenges, and a library of optimisation engines has been developed for various types of problem, primarily aimed at complex scheduling and route selection.
The driving force behind Optimal Solutions, the contradiction that in planning time, we waste time, remains unchanged. We fight resource waste in scheduling. However, the solutions have been developed for increasingly complex and greater challenges. Optimal Solutions now enables international companies to reduce resource wastage by 10-25%. We are fascinated on a daily basis by how mathematical models can provide solutions to practical problems.