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BoldIQ’s OR scientists have changed the future of business

Operations Research (OR) is a young science, going back only to WWII, when the kind of collaborative AI we use for advanced planning and scheduling today was the stuff of science fiction. And while BoldIQ’s own OR scientists Alex Khmelnitsky and Eugene Taits are not quite of that vintage, they clearly remember how they came to realize the potential of OR in an increasingly on-demand world.

“We came from totally different fields,” explains Alex, “We were working on image compression technology, and then compression for audio and video.”

“And before that, theoretical physics and applied mathematics, so we were kind of total amateurs in this field, which turned out to be a good thing,” Eugene interjects with a chuckle.

Just to be clear, these “amateurs”, both original members of the BoldIQ team, are PhDs: Alex from the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology, and Eugene from the Belarusian State Technological University.

“But seriously, we think this gave us a fresh viewpoint on the problems as we started working on jet service optimization,” Alex continues, “From the very beginning OR was actually dedicated to optimizing scheduling and resource assignments. In fact, some of the very early computers were tasked with maximizing utilization problems, although it wasn’t yet ingrained in business thinking.”

“This was mostly in the planning stages, for static processes,” Eugene adds, “For instance, modeling a full supply chain. But computers were too slow, and there was no way to supply the necessary data to support real time decision making.”

And despite infinite advances in processing power, bandwidth and an abundance of data, they are still surprised at times by what they discover when it comes to business planning and scheduling.

“Even in the 21st century, there are big companies that are still scheduling in a highly manual way, using spreadsheets,” remarks Eugene, “and this is not suited very well to a schedule that changes fairly often due to disruptions.”

Alex picks up the point: “People are used to certain historical ways of solving planning problems, and these unfortunately continue to be taught. These are not applicable to real-time scheduling problems. Today, we can replace many assumptions and statistical predictions, and create more complicated models, as there is so much more data available to describe the scheduling process.”

“It’s like solving a very large multi-dimensional puzzle,” says Eugene, “These are complex problems that are very difficult to solve. But, if you can clearly describe the rules associated with your business, you can make critical business decisions much faster and with much better accuracy.”

This is so much more critical today, as on-demand takes on a whole new meaning. Customers want it here and now, or they will go where they can get it. And while OR is truly a science, like most science, there is an art to crafting problem models.

Not surprisingly, both men agree the most rewarding, and most challenging, part of OR is modeling. They credit their physics backgrounds, and a love of clean code, as the solid foundation from which they launched into operations research.

“In physics, to understand how a part of the universe works, you must first model it, and then solve using mathematical methods,” Alex explains, “A good model gives good results, and the physics really helped us know how to build good models.”

“And like physics, a significant amount of intuition and creativity is required for the modeling,” Eugene continues, “There are so many ways to describe a process, only some of which are helpful, and only some of those are computer-friendly. The ability to create a common-sense model that is also programmable, this is where the art comes in.”

As for the future, Eugene and Alex have a goal that will transform operations research: a generic optimization engine capable of solving a vast range of complex planning and scheduling problems.

“Our vision is that practically any complex optimization problem will be solved, and ultimately, without modeling or programming skills, only by natural human language input” states Alex.

“Why not?” asks Eugene, “Anywhere there is a mix of different processes, resources and events, and especially anywhere the schedule changes reasonably often due to disruptions, we now have the processing power, the bandwidth and the data to use AI for real-time decision making. ”

Work-life balance for truckers is key as driver shortage takes its toll

Breakthrough AI optimization technology for real-time scheduling shows that carriers are prioritizing drivers work-life balance while helping manage costs, service and safety for the company.

With over 70% of all freight tonnage being moved on the nation’s highways, most of the goods you eat, wear, walk on, live in and otherwise consume are transported on trucks. However, within the trucking industry, and increasingly beyond it, alarm bells are going off.

A driver shortage has been getting more severe over the last few years and is predicted to worsen. The American Trucking Associations (ATA) produced a study recently showing a shortfall of approximately 60,000 current qualified drivers in 2018. More critically, the average driver age is now at 46. While the industry is making efforts to attract a younger and more diverse workforce, success in this area has been limited. If the current aging driver workforce trend holds, the shortage will more than double to over 160,000 in ten years.

Importantly, the ATA study outlines how “qualified” means more than just a Class A license. The carriers continue to maintain stringent hiring processes, with safety and reliability being prime concerns. Moreover, traditional approaches for attracting and maintaining the best drivers, such as sign-on bonuses, increased compensation and premium rigs, are now mere table stakes. As a result, carriers struggle to find enough qualified drivers, which makes the impact of the shortage feel worse. Enterprising logistics executives are beginning to realize that these perks are just not going to be enough in the long haul. All the while these same executives need to consider costs, safety and service as well.

Interestingly, a quick survey of some of the threads in driver forums such as the TruckersReport shows that drivers place high value on more nights at home. A recent article in SupplyChain 24/7 backs this up, going on to say that providing an acceptable home-life balance for long-haul drivers is “no easy trick” .

As the shortage of qualified drivers intensifies, carriers look for more and different ways to attract and maintain these key business resources. An innovative approach sees leading carriers looking at advanced planning and scheduling solutions to give drivers more nights at home while maintaining cost structures, service, and safety parameters. Such preference-based scheduling harnesses the power of operational AI to optimize resources, loads and routes while considering regulations and business rules in real time.

Advanced planning and scheduling (APS) is rapidly becoming a key element of an overall ERP strategy for many mission-critical industries, where optimizing resources in real-time and on-demand amounts to smart business. In trucking, APS begins with preference-based planning, with all available trucks, drivers, depots and goods and their respective locations, enabling straightforward fleet, platoon, lane and leg-level optimization. This means more orders are pushed through the same or even fewer fleet resources.

As the usual day-to-day unfolds, unplanned maintenance, sudden cargo limitations, and even last-minute customer changes get a speedy response, all while considering traffic, weather, and of course, driver nights at home, in real-time.

We are just starting to feel the impact of this worsening driver shortage. Visionary trucking companies recognize the clear and present need to manage the challenges of attracting and maintaining drivers, a key business resource. Advanced planning and scheduling not only enables a good work-life balance for their drivers, but reduces costs, improves service and maintains safety regulations.

This article originally appeared on LinkedIn

Why surgery is so expensive

The latest developments in operational AI mean advanced scheduling and planning in real time and on demand is becoming a key element in the delivery of cost-effective surgical procedures with better patient outcomes.

Within the $3.65 trillion healthcare system, surgery is one of the highest cost centers, accounting for as much as 30% of that total, around one trillion dollars. This is a lot of money, but let’s consider all the aspects of a typical surgery: highly skilled physicians, nurses and support staff operating state-of-the-art equipment, requisite tests, medications, and surgical supplies, possibly implants too. Reliable pre-op and post-op transitions and care are key elements of every surgical procedure.

A health care center’s systems for case management, staff scheduling, lab, supply, and imaging all play an important role. Unfortunately, these systems are often disparate, and so data is gleaned and transferred manually from system to system. The surgery scheduling system is included in this mix, with its hourly, even minute-by-minute updates. And while some scheduling applications include staff skills criteria and equipment maintenance schedules, these are sometimes maintained on a simple spreadsheet. In the end, the actual live schedule may be posted on a whiteboard, requiring the daily surgery scheduling team to bounce between the various systems and sources, ensuring that all resources and processes are in place for each surgical procedure.

However, especially for large surgery centers, priorities are dynamic, and disruptions occur regularly. Emergencies arise. Procedures run late and so on. These not only have a cascading effect on the ongoing surgery schedule, but add overtime pay to the ballooning costs. Moreover, the operational staff are in a continuous catch up process, adjusting the various systems to reflect the dynamic situation. This leads to situations where surgeons, anesthesiologists and surgical nurses are waiting to enter the operating theater, as another procedure has run longer than expected. Delays like this are costly and negatively impact pre- and post-operative room assignments. And as the pre-op and recovery rooms fill up, the quality and consistency of patient care suffers too.

When the schedule is over-burdened, much needed breaks for the front-line medical professionals are often the first sacrifice. This despite the overwhelming evidence showing a rested, alert and coordinated team correlates strongly with better post-operative outcomes and shorter hospital stays, not to mention more satisfied employees.

It should come then as no surprise then that surgery is a major expense item in our health care system’s books. Skilled physicians and nurses and state-of-the-art operating theaters are premium assets. The business of healthcare demands that these critical resources be fully and optimally utilized, with a keen eye on improving patient outcomes every step of the way.

With the latest advances in operational AI, service optimization for surgical scheduling and planning sees the intricate operating room logistics iterated automatically as the schedule develops during the days leading up to the procedure. Throughout a day, as long-running operations and emergencies crop up, AI-optimized scheduling navigates the complex resource realignment in real-time and on-demand, while ensuring processes including mandated breaks are protected.

The paradox here is while science and medicine push the boundaries of what is surgically possible to save and improve lives, the complex set of resources and processes required to deliver these procedures lag behind. However, visionary organizations are beginning to recognize that AI optimization of these costly and critical resources with advanced scheduling and planning, they not only serve their bottom lines, but contribute to improved employee satisfaction and most importantly, better patient outcomes.

This article originally appeared on LinkedIn

BoldIQ named as one of the 30 fastest growing tech companies

Already seen as a top local company, Seattle-based BoldIQ is now getting national recognition with its next generation platform for AI-optimized real-time scheduling to help its customers scale, grow and be more profitable.

The Silicon Review interviewed CEO Erez Yarkoni as part of its spotlight on BoldIQ. With its initial success helping companies like NetJet get off the ground in a major way, Yarkoni is now leading a strong and growing team in taking BoldIQ’s proven platform out to more and different markets.

“It’s a demand-driven world, uninhibited by the constraints of supply, timing and disruption, ” said Yarkoni, “A business needs to be available whenever and wherever customers call. We help them figure out how to do that. Because our solution integrates into their operations management system, usually some sort of CRM or ERP platform, we collect the real time status of their available resources and pending service requests. This means that our proposed solutions are built holistically from a network perspective. When you can consider the whole picture like that, you can really ensure the right resources are assigned to the right task.”


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The Silicon Review is the world’s most trusted online and print community for business & technology professionals. Its community members include thought-provoking CEOs, CIOs, CTOs, IT VPs and managers, along with jillions of diverse business professionals.

Seattle Business Honors Washington’s 100 Best Companies to Work For – 2018


BoldIQ was thrilled to be named one of Seattle Business magazine’s 100 Best Companies to Work For in 2018.

Our employees completed anonymous surveys and ranked BoldIQ against other small companies in Washington state based on 10 categories: corporate culture, executive leadership, benefits, communication, hiring/retention, performance standards, responsibility/decision making, rewards/recognition, training/education and workplace environment.

BoldIQ attended Seattle Business magazine’s gala to celebrate the win with more than 1,200 attendees at the Washington State Conventions Center.  Shelly Freeman, Vice President at BoldIQ, said, “we are honored to be one of the Best Companies to work for in Washington State. This is a testament to the passion of our teams who work so well together to continue to build world-class solutions and services for our customers.”

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Seattle Business is an award-winning monthly magazine read by thousands of business executives across the state. It delivers insight into the key people, enterprises and trends that drive business in the Pacific Northwest, providing perspective on the region’s ever-changing economic environment.

BoldIQ, Drones, and Supply Chain World

Drones & The Demand Chain in 2018

Since 1980, the supply chain has rapidly evolved with the introduction of logistics systems via computers to the emergence of enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems. And 2017 only fueled this progress bringing about a new era of logistics with the introduction and emergence of next-generation technologies like drones and sidewalk bots, driverless delivery vehicles, and next-generation intermediaries such as technology driven brokers.

These technologies are being rapidly developed and introduced due to the changing nature of the economy and resulting shift from supply-driven to demand-driven operations. It’s no longer the manufacturer or distributor deciding what to sell and when, but rather the consumer dictating what to buy and when to have it delivered.

As companies begin testing and implementing these futuristic technologies, the promise of new delivery services continues to gain popularity. In fact, drones are projected to have a $14 billion economic impact within the first three years with the potential to grow to $82 billion by 2025. Although this seems like only a fraction of the $676.2 billion made by the American trucking industry in 2016, ‘smart’ technologies like drones and bots will start to carve out their niche and create a significant impact on the supply chain over the next year.

Here’s a look at how drones and bots are sure to impact the supply chain in 2018 and beyond:

Drone Delivery Will Take to the Sky

It’s a bird, it’s a plane…. wait, it’s your online order heading to your front door by a drone. Over the next year, we’ll begin to see an increase in this new mode of delivery in non-urban areas where the safety risks are smaller and logistics are much simpler to manage. Coupled with new consumer expectations for same-day delivery or at least date-defined delivery, the use of drones will allow companies to meet this quick turnaround.

Drones also require less overhead costs as opposed to traditional delivery methods like trucks and airplanes. Just think: a large-scale delivery model requires a wide array of resources including drivers, trucks or planes, space to store equipment, regional depots, and much more in order to succeed. With these facts in mind, it’s likely we will see drones slowly replace some of these routes that have been traditionally fulfilled with trucks and airplanes to increase efficiency, delivery time and curb costs.

Showcasing the potential of delivery drones, other countries are already starting to capitalize on the futuristic tech. For instance, Rwanda is using drones to deliver blood to nearly half of all of the country’s blood transfusion centers while Switzerland is incorporating networks of drones into various aspects of its healthcare industry. And the US isn’t far behind.

In early November 2017, the Department of Transportation (DOT) launched a pilot program allowing states to test new types of drone operations, including package deliveries. The program allows companies interested in deploying drone fleets for deliveries access to necessary testing which may have previously been out of reach. Backed by the successful trial runs from industry giants like Amazon and UPS, we can expect to see drone delivery as another option when clicking the ‘checkout’ button with our next online order.

Step Aside for Sidewalk Delivery Bots

In addition to delivery drones, sidewalk bots will start to appear in dense urban areas where challenges and risks like traffic, power lines, and high-rise buildings may prevent the usage of other ‘smart’ technologies like drones. These bots provide companies with a perfect solution for short distances, delivering a takeout meal or the morning coffee and donut from storefront to your doorstep within a matter of minutes. While this method may be a few steps behind the growing popularity of drones, several startups are working to make sidewalk bots a societal norm.

In reality, this doesn’t mean there were no hiccups during the initial ideation phase of this new system of ‘smart’ deliveries. In May 2017, San Francisco proposed legislation looking to outlaw the usage of autonomous delivery bots stunting the potential to optimize processes. Because of this, the implementation of sidewalk bots for daily usage may face a few hurdles before we experience widespread adoption. In the meantime, we can expect to see cities shift their attention to smaller and less risky technology to help enable the concept of life on-demand in metro areas and revolutionize the supply chain as we know it in 2018.

Welcome to 2018 and Beyond

Over the next year, we’ll reach a turning point as a society and start to see the evolution of the supply chain industry with the introduction of ‘smart’ logistics and delivery technologies. Now, with all of this added convenience in mind, do you think we should incorporate drones and bots into our daily lives?

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BoldIQ recognized as one of 8 top stories of 2017 by Seattle24X7

Seattle24x7’s Top Stories for 2017

It’s time to recap a few of the highlights in another breakthrough year for the region’s ongoing leadership in Internet commerce and content.

In 2017, Seattle saw the light at the end of a new tunnel (nicknamed Bertha) connecting points north and south along the downtown corridor. We anchored the tenancies of more of the world’s tech titans (Google, Facebook. et al.) — forming a world-class hub for remote engineering on South Lake Union (“Silicon Lake”). We ushered in the VR/AR revolution with new hardware and software standards. We funded the next generation of our academic community’s computer science program. And we continued our prominence in E-tail, online travel, real estate and gaming, including the hosting of Valve and Steam Software’s DOTA2 Finals with its epic, ten-million dollar first prize.

Here’s a sampling of the digital ink we spilled across our desktops at Seattle24x7 in 2017:

All About Amazon: Why “Day 1” Will Always Be Groundhog Day
How Amazon systems have been designed to affirm the very best practices in fostering a forward-thinking corporate ecosystem.  View Article

Crunching the Numbers: From USAFacts to OED’s Business Decision Engine
Steve Ballmer was born a numbers guy. The former Microsoft CEO and NBA team owner describes how he is applying the empirical, numerical truth to evaluate governmental performance with USA FactsView Article. 

A Fierce Conversation with Susan Scott:  Keeping It Real, Making it Work, Anonymous Trolls, Preposterous Trump and Ferocious Success
Susan Scott, one of the most sought-after self-improvement and HR counselors and keynoters in America, explains why we must pierce the din and clutter with Fierce Conversation.
View Article

To Bing or Not to Bing, That Is Her Question
Christi Olson, the explainer-in-chief and Microsoft Evangelist for the Bing search engine, spotlights the differences between Bing and Google and why they could not be more profound. View Article

The PR for Which WE Stands
Melissa Waggener Zorkin made history with the founding of America’s first female-owned amd operated PR firm. Today WE Communications continues to make history for a roster of A-List clients on a daily basis. The story behind  how WE functions at the forefront of the Internet era including “Jumping the Story Gap” and using the “Story Force” can now be told.  View Article

Saving Lives — There’s an App for That!
After winning the MacArthur Foundation Genius award, UW professor and entrepreneur Shwetak Patel has
made the Apple iPhone a medical diagnostic device for measuring hemaglobin, bone density and  human lung capacity with Senosis Health. View Article

Real-Time Software for the On-Demand World: BoldIQ Builds It One Solution at a Time
Roei Ganzarski is optimizing on-demand air travel, ground transportation, health care operations, and HR Staffing  — from the inside-out.   View Article

A Bird’s Eye View of Legal SEO
How founder Conrad Saam and Mockingbird are advising attorneys about best practices in digital marketing and totally legal SEO. View Article

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BoldIQ featured in Juniper’s Smart City report


Juniper’s latest Smart Cities research highlights how the market landscape has shifted over the past 18 months, from one that was primarily technology-driven, to one where policy plays an increasingly important role. Juniper’s must-read research provides unique insights into this market, providing in-depth analysis of leading global smart cities’ approach to the industry along with an assessment of emerging challenges and opportunities across key service markets.


Click to go to Juniper Research

BoldIQ Team How Smart Will Our Cities Become in 2018? The Fast Mode

“Emerging Futuristic Tech, the Battle to Become the E-Commerce Top Dog and the Re-Imagining of Brick-and-Mortar Will Dominate”

This past year has given us a glimpse into what our futuristic society may hold. For example: in the e-commerce realm, Amazon launched Amazon Go stores allowing consumers to skip the inefficient checkout process by linking their phone to the store app. This step forward acted as yet another sign of how retail giants are fully embracing the ever-changing online shopping experience. In 2017, we also saw next generation technologies start to emerge across new industries from delivery services to disaster recovery efforts. However, experts believe 2018 will be even more transformative. How so? Below are a few trends we can expect to see as we enter the New Year.


2017 may have been Amazon’s year – from its $13.7 billion Whole Foods Market acquisition to its plans to use futuristic technologies like delivery drones and bots – but this success has created new competition for the marketplace. Companies like Walmart and Target are starting to one-up each other, racing to meet the new consumer expectations of free or two-day delivery. In response, Amazon will quickly need to find a way to differentiate themselves from the pack by offering something no one else currently does (or can) in order to regain their place at the top of the leaderboard in the New Year.

Now, what might that look like? How about a “buy now, deliver later” service. Say you come across a product online you may want to purchase as a birthday or holiday present but it’s a few months until you need to give it to that person. Right now, you would have to buy it and store it yourself or hope it will still be the right price at a later date. However, what if Amazon offered the option to buy it now – in full, not on layaway – but have it shipped at a time of your choosing. This ensures you get the price you want and delivery when you need it while guaranteeing the company a customer.


Shopping malls and retailers across the United States have been steadily closing their doors over the past five years, leaving an eerie vacant building ready for the next tenant to come in and transform it back to its former glory. And as social beings, we want to interact and ‘experience’ things like going to the mall or store to look, touch, and try-on items before buying them but would rather not be inconvenienced by driving our cars, carrying bags, or only hoping they have the desired item in stock. On the other hand, the retailer would probably prefer to pay less in store front rent, not have to hold so much inventory on site, and put more focus on the customer experience.

In 2018, a transformation will begin. As consumers grapple with the experience of going shopping versus the convenience of e-commerce, traditional brick-and-mortar stores and malls will transform their storage footprints and physical shopping experiences. These new store fronts will allow the consumer to experience, touch, feel, and try on product and even buy it on the spot – but eliminates the worry about it being in stock, carrying it around, or having room in the car (or ride share) to bring it home. Instead, customers will get their purchased item shipped directly to their doorstep. Not only will this make the shopping experience more pleasurable, this trend will promote the use of ride sharing and next generation delivery and transportation models.


Based on recent regulation discussions by the FAA and White House, delivery drones and sidewalk bots might be coming to your doorstep sooner than you think, furthering our goal of ‘smarter’ deliveries and supply chain optimization. In fact, a Gartner forecast report predicts the global drone market will grow to more than $11.2 billion by 2020. In the next year, we can expect to see more businesses across several industries testing both bots in metro cities, which are more heavily populated, and drones in rural areas where there are fewer obstacles and distractions.


With an unprecedented number of natural disasters this year, many companies, cities, and countries will begin to overhaul their disaster recovery strategy and use smart technologies to optimize recovery efforts. By using software that provides decisions based off of previous disaster data and real-time resource and situational data, advanced technology will be used to make life saving decisions in real-time. In addition to using ‘smart’ technologies, states, organizations and individuals will turn toward applications that crowdsource recovery efforts to formulate the best plan when we are forced to expect the unexpected.

On that note, 2018 has the potential to surpass our expectations on next generation technology innovation and implementation. As consumer demands in an ever more connected economy continue to dictate how most industries and markets evolve, we have unprecedented opportunity for technology growth and adoption to be materialized in the next few months.

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A look ahead to 2018 with Tech Target

With 2018 right around the corner, everyone from industry experts to company CEOs is looking ahead to the trends the new year will bring. For those situated in our evolving smart cities, the growth of the on-demand economy to the increasing interconnectivity of IoT devices will be especially interesting over the next 12 months. After all, this year saw the advent of drone delivery with Amazon’s early tests and later examples from competitors of deliveries, ranging from the trivial, such as Domino’s pizza delivery, to life-saving medical supply deliveries in Tanzania. Additionally, the self-driving car race heated up, with nearly every auto manufacturer announcing new and improved models up to and including the Tesla driverless truck. Finally, convenience-based services reigned supreme, all thanks to the on-demand economy.

When we take a look back, technology made a big impact on our lives in 2017; so that now begs the question: What trends will 2018 hold? Let’s take a look.

Delivery drones and sidewalk bots may be heading to our front doors sooner than we think. With regulation discussions by the FAA and White House heating up, it is clear the goal of building smarter cities is a priority in 2018. This includes the testing, implementation and adoption of smarter, more efficient delivery methods of products and goods. Over the next year, we can expect to see more companies — across a surprising number of industries — testing sidewalk bots in metro cities, which are more heavily populated and present different challenges and risks, while drones will reign king in rural areas where there are less distractions and obstacles to make deliveries.

On-demand services, including anything from ride-sharing to food delivery to laundry services, are the backbone of the gig economy and have quickly become a necessity for our society. However, it’s commonly overlooked that most companies in this industry dip into the same pool of resources. Think about it: How many times has a ride-share car pulled up and the corner of its window has stickers of all major players in the market?

With new companies entering the market each day, we will soon reach a significant imbalance of overall resources and consumer demand. And if this imbalance continues to grow at the rate it’s currently growing, the gig economy bubble will eventually burst. The solution? Twofold:

  1. Consolidate to counterbalance supply with demand. In 2018, we’ll begin to see companies merge within their respective markets to use resources more efficiently and gain the most market share, while others will subsequently become obsolete.
  2. Control your resources. In the year ahead, we will start to see companies use controlled resources, i.e., resources that they will be able to schedule for work and direct quality and service for. Resources will return to become a service company’s competitive advantage.

Overall, we can expect to see the full implementation and maturation of technology introduced in 2017 over the next year. Self-driving cars, checkout-less grocery stores, and drone and bot deliveries will become much more commonplace and an accepted part of our society. However, one big question lingers: Will industries and companies ensure the technology is efficient and optimized for the benefit of both consumers and society? The answer: We’ll have to wait and see.

Click to read on TechTarget