The EKPLO project aims to make advanced planning and scheduling (APS) usable for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). In EKPLO, we see the employee as a central part of the planning and scheduling process and therefore aim to create what we call a Human-centered APS (HAPS).
Through technological advances, gathering process- and context-data in real time is becoming standard practice. This real-time data collection leads to increased complexity of the APS systems which analyze such data. Employees often have a hard time understanding the schedules computed by the involved APS algorithms. This lack of understanding leads to a lack of trust in the APS system and rejection of the schedules by the employees.
To address this issue, EKPLO aims to extend traditional APS systems with tools for algorithm visualization, tools for collaboration and communication and tools for end-user-friendly adaptation of APS algorithms. This approach is meant to make complex APS systems understandable, support employees to make decisions and make the adaption of the algorithms through end-uses possible.
The innovation of this project lies in the unique combination of different research- and application areas. Through this combination, we explore a new and holistic approach to overcoming the technological and organizational challenges of APS systems in SMEs.