On Friday, November 6, 24 students participated in the in-house day at the Quintiq headquarters in ‘s-Hertogenbosch. The students were shown how Quintiq solves problems with presentations from the staff, a tour of the headquarters and a case study exercise. They also joined the staff for lunch and post-work drinks – a great way to learn more about the people and the working environment at Quintiq. The day was supposed to start with two presentations. Instead, Dr Victor Allis, CEO of Quintiq, introduced himself and enthusiastically began sharing stories of his experiences with Quintiq for almost an hour, while joking that he would only take 5 minutes of our time. This immediately revealed the atmosphere at Quintiq: Enthusiastic, spontaneous and relaxed. Due to Victor’s introduction, the presentations that were originally planned had to be scheduled differently. Luckily, Quintiq excels at scheduling problems – this particular puzzle was easily solved and the presentations were still given, without adjusting the day’s plan too much.
The first presentation gave a clear view of what Quintiq does and how they solve complicated planning puzzles for different companies all around the world. The second presentation revealed insights into specific roles at Quintiq: Business analyst, Quintiq specialist and algorithm expert. Although each of these professions has different functions, the educational background required for the roles was the same. Econometrics, computer science, supply chain knowledge and/or mathematics seemed to be the most important skills an employee at Quintiq could have, as well as a keen interest in optimization problems. The day continued with the students having lunch with Quintiq employees. The students and employees mingled, with the students being given the chance to ask questions about working at Quintiq. Everyone seemed to share the same interest: Solving puzzles, which is what Quintiq is all about.
The students learned that Quintiq is very flexible when it comes to working hours – for example, some employees start at 8:00AM, others at 10:00AM, to avoid traffic jams. Some prefer to work from home in the morning for similar reasons. These differences do not seem to cause much of an issue and clearly show that Quintiq embraces flexibility. Furthermore, I noticed that the enthusiasm was not limited to the CEO; everyone was passionate about working at Quintiq.
After lunch, the students were split into two groups. One group toured the building, visiting the different floors. The tour gave the students a good insight into the different business units at Quintiq. The premises also reflected the open environment that we had already experienced since arriving – the offices had glass walls. The tour also showcased the company’s international presence. With over 40 nationalities working in Den Bosch, the primary language used between employees is English, and the students were told that there are lots of opportunities to participate in projects all over the world.
After the first group finished their tour, they proceeded to the case study exercise while the second group toured the building. The case study exercise gave a clear view of the merits of the Quintiq software. The exercise was divided into three rounds. In each round, the students individually tried to optimize a working week’s schedule for multiple hypothetical employees. Each of these employees had different requests, and the student’s goal was to satisfy as many requests as possible. In the first round, the students received no help whatsoever from the Quintiq software. Everyone made a schedule, but a lot of requests were still not satisfied in time. In the second round, some features were introduced and used to optimize the schedule – it got a lot better, but there was still room for improvement. In the last round, the students were given access to even more features. Everyone was able to greatly improve their schedule, with some students able to create the optimal schedule. This exercise showed the capabilities of the Quintiq software, even with a small example and only a few features.
After an intense day, everyone gathered for drinks and the students once again got the chance to chat with different Quintiq employees. It was the perfect end to the day, as everyone was able to relax while asking their final questions. Many of the students asked what scores the employees achieved for the Quintiq online puzzle. This quickly steered the conversation to strategies on how to achieve the maximum score and everyone went home with a new strategy for their next attempt at the puzzle.
Click to Enlarge the Images Below
Dr Victor Allis, CEO, introducing himself to the students
Arthur Torsy, VP EMEA, giving an introduction to Quintiq
Dan Roozemond, Products Optimization Leader, presenting the Quintiq software
L-R: Jelle Duives, business consultant; Dori van Hulst, algorithm expert; and Lianne Marks, Quintiq Specialist shedding light on ‘A Day in the Life of a Quintiq Consultant’
Students rubbing shoulders with Quintiq staff over lunch
Students on a tour of the Quintiq headquarters
Students participating in a case study exercise to see just how Quintiq solves problems in real-world situations
Interested in what Quintiq does? Try the combustion puzzle online – it’s really fun and will give you a good idea of what we do here at Quintiq!