Operational research can be defined as the method of analysis which helps in the management decisions. Operations research deals with the application of the principles and the means of science to the problems of strategy.
Operations Research Defined As
It is the implementation of scientific methods, techniques, and tools to issues involving the operations of a system to provide those in the control of the system with optimum solutions to the issues.
Operations Research mechanism is used for taking decisions which searches for the best results in parity with all the objectives and constraints of the organization.
Operation research is a scientific method of providing the management department with a quantitative basis of conclusions regarding the operations under their control.
OPERATION RESEARCH is a scientific approach to problem-solving for management.
The Scope of Operations Research
In its past few years of organized development, operations research has resolved successfully many cases of research for the army, the government, and industries. The primary problem in nearly all of the developing countries in Asia and Africa is to eliminate neediness and lack of food as fastly as conceivable.
So, there is a good scope for the economists, statisticians, administrators, and politicians working in a team to resolve this problem by an operational research approach.
Moreover, with the explosion of population and the resulting shortage of food, every nation is facing the problem of maximum allotment of land for various crops under climatic conditions and available facilities.
The question of optimal distribution of water from a resource like a canal for irrigation purposes is faced by developing countries. Hence the right quantity of scientific work can be done in this way.
Operation Research in Industries
In the field of Industrial sciences, there is a claim of problems, starting from getting possession of the material to the shipping of finished products. Management is always interested in optimizing profits.
Hence to provide the decision on a scientific basis, the OPERATION RESEARCH study team considers various alternative methods and their effects on the existing system. The operations research approach is equally advantageous for economists, administrators, statisticians, and irrigation or agricultural experts, etc.
The operation research approach helps in operations management. Operation management can be described as the management of systems for giving goods or services and deals with the design and operation of systems for the production, supply or service, and transport. The operating systems change the inputs to the satisfaction of consumers’ needs.
Operation Research for Effective Use of Resources
Thus the operations research is concerned with the best utilization of resources, i.e., effective use of resources with a minimum loss, underutilization, or waste. In other words, it is related to satisfactory consumer service and optimum usage of resources. Inputs for an operating system may be a machine, material, and human resource.
For example, for resolving an issue related to inventory management, the Operations Research team must include an engineer who knows about material management and stores, a mathematician-cum-statistician, or a cost accountant.
For large and complex problems, the team must consist of a statistician, a mathematician, an economist, one or two engineers, a psychologist, a computer programmer, etc.
- Finance, Budgeting, and Investment
- Cash flow analysis, long-range capital requirement, dividend policies,
- investment portfolios,
- Claim procedure, and
- Credit policies
- Marketing sector
- Competitive actions, goods selection,
- Frequencies of calling on and number of salessmen,
- Taking Advantage from Advertising strategies concerning time and cost.
- Varying prices, buying policies
- Determination of timing of purchases and quantities,
- Bidding policy,
- Replacement policies, and
- Exploitation of new material resources
- Operation Management
- Physical distribution: Location and size of stores, distribution centers, distribution policies, and retail outlets
- Facility Planning: Location and number of factories, warehouses, etc.
- Loading and unloading facilities
- Manufacturing: Production scheduling and sequencing stabilization of production, employment, layoffs, and optimum product mix
- Maintenance policies, crew size
- Project scheduling and allocation of resources
- Personnel Management
- Mixes of age and skills,
- Recruiting policies, and
- Job assignments
- Research and Development
- Areas of concentration for R&D
- Reliability and alternate decisions
- Determination of control of development projects and time-cost trade-off
Characteristics of Operations Research
Inter-Disciplinary Team Approach
This requires an interdisciplinary team that includes individuals with skills in mathematics, engineering, material sciences, statistics, economics, and computer, etc.
While evaluating any decision, the critical interactions and their impact on the whole organization against the functions involved initially are reviewed.
Operations research utilizes the scientific method to solve the issues.
OPERATION RESEARCH attempts to find the best or optimal solution to the problem under consideration, taking into account the purposes of the organization.
The Methodology of Operation Research
Operation Research is a scientific approach for decision-making and therefore must follow the following steps
Formulating the Problem
The problem must be clearly explained. It is common to start the operational research study with the provisional development of the issues, which is redeveloped over and again during the study. The study must also consider the economic aspects.
Tools of Operations Research
In any area of human endeavor, whether it is a manufacturing system, service system or business system where a goal is to be optimized, the problem falls into the domain of operations research.
Some of the most used techniques of operation research are as follows Linear programming
- Waiting for line theory or queuing theory
- Inventory control models
- Replacement problems
- Network Analysis
- Dynamic programming
- Assignment problems
- Decision theory
- Integer Programming
- Transportation Problems
- Goal Programming
- Markov Analysis
- Game Theory
- Heuristic Models
- Routing Models
- Symbolic logic
This article provides a summary of operations research, its roots, its approach to solving problems, and some examples of successful applications. From the standpoint of an industrial engineer, operations research is a tool that can do a great deal to increase productivity.
It should be emphasized that operations research is neither puzzling nor unreasonable, and the interested, people are urged to study this topic further for its purposes as well as its applicability; the potential rewards can be enormous.
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