Protime, the market leader in Belgium and the Netherlands workforce management, has strengthened its workforce planning capability with the acquisition of an Austrian AI-based workforce planning start-up, Sheepblue.

The software tools developed by the Vienna-based business are designed to help shift-based industries that require precise planning capabilities, such as manufacturing or logistics.

The acquisition extends Protime’s current AI-based workforce planning capability beyond retail and hospitality and means the business will now offer automated scheduling and planning software for all types of workers.

With the roll-out of the Sheepblue software into the Protime workforce management platform, the AI planning tool can take into account factors such as the legal framework, the chosen optimisation strategy, the required working hours and employee preferences in workforce scheduling.

The software also includes features for determining specific skills needed or the ability to swap shifts between colleagues. It will complement the Protime’s existing AI tools which can draw up staff rosters, taking into account peak times, weather and staffing levels, among other factors.

Protime is one of the largest workforce management providers in Belgium and the Netherlands and aims to become so in all of the countries in which its parent company, leading European HR services provider SD Worx, operates.

The purchase of Sheepblue forms part of Protime’s growth plans for Europe and comes on the back of a launch into the UK market with the appointment of Simon Garrity as UK Country Manager and the recent acquisition of Spanish workforce scheduling business SoftMachine.

"Our ambition is to double our customer base to over 10,000 customers in Europe in the next five years. We are already the market leader in time registration, and in three years we want to be the same for workforce scheduling. With the acquisition of the Sheepblue software, we have a planning tool for almost every sector.

The European market for Workforce Management software will grow by about 10% annually and increasing numbers of companies need an integrated workforce management tool with a scheduling module. Deploying our tools allows customers forecast more accurately and limit overstaffing and understaffing, overtime and staff planning errors. All this can save them a lot on costs.

Because the process is automated, they save a lot of time when drawing up staff schedules. Finally, this also yields more engaged employees, because they appreciate transparency as well as flexibility in their work schedules.”
Gille Sebrechts
CEO Protime
Eduard Rameder
"Sheepblue is more than just automation; it's about building a smarter, more human-centric approach to workforce scheduling.

We empower businesses to optimise their resources while fostering a positive work environment for their employees. We're excited to join forces with Protime, whose shared values and positive work environment align perfectly with our own.

This transition ensures business continuity and positions our valued customers for even greater success. We're grateful for their trust and look forward to this new chapter.”
Eduard Rameder
Co-founder and CTO of Sheepblue
Written by: Isabelle Fassin
International Field Marketeer