UTFacultiesBMSDept HBEIEBISEducationGraduation assignments2016-02 MSc assignment: Decision support for capacity planning at ORTEC

2016-02 MSc assignment: Decision support for capacity planning at ORTEC

Decision Support for Capacity Planning

Internship: Decision Support for capacity planning
Location: Zoetermeer
Starting: as soon as possible

Company description

About ORTEC Consulting
ORTEC Consulting is a subsidiary of ORTEC, the world’s leading provider of advanced planning and optimization solutions and services. ORTEC has over 1,800 customers worldwide, over 750 employees and offices in Europe, North America, South America and the Pacific Region.

Thesis subject description

Decision Support for Capacity Planning

The aim of this thesis is to create an effective and efficient algorithm (heuristic) that creates a capacity plan for businesses in which workload is known in advance.

Some of ORTEC’s customers are companies that maintain and/or inspect their products at their customer’s locations. For that, employees of those companies that have the required skills to do the work travel to their customer’s locations. The operational scheduling, including the order in which work is done and including the exact inter-customer travels, is done with ORTEC Service Planner solution.

Besides the operation planning challenge, these maintenance and inspection companies also face several challenges at a more tactical level of decisions. Examples of these are: Do we have enough capacity to be able to do the work for this year? Can we accept a new customer? What if we have flexible employee capacity? And also slightly more detailed challenges like: We need to promise a week (and in some cases even a specific employee) to a customer: which week and which employee are that going to be?

For many of these companies, getting good answers to these more tactical questions is very challenging and time consuming. What we like to achieve in this thesis is to set the algorithmic basis for a capacity planning module that allows the effective and efficient answering to these questions. By this we want to support our customers to make their decisions.

The concrete challenge of the algorithm is to assign tasks to employees and decide in which week they need to be done. The algorithm that you will develop will elaborate on and improve our current prototype which is based on the so-called GRASP meta-heuristic. The algorithm must result in a good solution in short time and must be flexible with respect to objective functions and restrictions. In that way the algorithm will be usable for similar but different business cases, thus serving different ORTEC customers - potentially from completely different industries.

The value of a designed algorithm can only be shown by running it on real life examples. Therefore, a major part of the work in this thesis will be dedicated not only to creating an algorithm, but also to testing this on real life data. Good programming skills are therefore important to for this thesis. Part of the thesis will also be presentation of the planning results in visualization software like Spotfire.

Next to the thesis subject itself, part of this graduation assignment will be that you gain experience of working on real-life consultancy problems (in total about 10 working days).


This internship assignment is meant for students in the master phase of their study in the area of Mathematics, Operations Research, Econometrics, or a related subject.

Experience and Desirable Skills

Strong analytic skills, affinity with IT, excellent communication skills, ability to work in a team. Able to test algorithms by programming them, preferably in R.

Interested or more information?

Please send your motivation letter, CV and list of marks to recruitment@ortec.com. For more information about the internship contact Ronald Buitenhek. For more information about ORTEC and other student other assignments, please visit www.werkenbijortec.nl or call +31 (0) 88-6783265 and ask for HR.

Are you interested?

Please send your application, CV and list of marks to:
Houtsingel 5
Tel: +31 (0) 88 678 32 65
E-mail: recruitment@ortec.com