The terminology " Operations Research " is somewhat funny, since it is not any more concerned with operations, nor does its application involve any research.
What is Operations Research?
Operations Research is the discipline of applying advanced analytical methods to help make better decisions. By using techniques such as mathematical modeling to analyze complex situations, operations research gives executives the power to make more effective decisions.
What is Operations Research?
OR is the application of scientific methods, techniques and tools to problems involving the operations of system so as to provide these in control of the operations with optimum solutions to the problem.
Historical Development of OR
The main origin of OR was during the second world war. At that time, the military management in England were having very limited military resources, it was necessary to decide upon the most effective utilization of them, e.g: the efficient ocean transport, effective bombing etc.
Scientific Methods in OR
It involves three phases:
Identification of the problem
Selection of Objective
Application of appropriate measures
Formulation of problem relative to objective
Observation and data collection
Formulation of hypothesis
Observation and experimentation to test the hypothesis
Analysis of available information and verification of hypothesis
Prediction of results from hypothesis.
Generalization of result and consideration of alternatives
Step I: Formulating the problem
Step II: Collecting data and constructing mathematical model
Step III: Solving the mathematical model
Step IV: Testing the model and its solution
Step V: Implementing the solution
Methodology of OR
Advantages of OR
Substantial amount of time and effort is saved
Reduce the chance of errors
Errors can easily be detected and corrected
Ability to judge applicability and limitations of solution techniques to a particular problem
Shortcomings of OR
Solution to a problem is derived either by
making it simplified or simplifying assumptions
and thus, such solutions have limitations
Sometimes model do not represent the realistic
solutions in which decisions must be made
Many real world problems just cannot have an
Applications of OR
Optimum allocation of land to various crops in accordance with the climatic conditions
Optimum distribution of water from various resources
To maximize per capita income with minimum resources
To find out the profit plan for the company
Decide optimum allocation of various limited resources such as men, machines, material, money, time etc.
Where to distribute the products for sale so that the total cost of transportation is minimum
How to select the best advertising media
How, when and what to purchase at the minimum possible cost
In Personnel Management
To appoint the most suitable persons on minimum salary
To determine the best age of retirement for the employees
In Production Management
To find out the number and size of the items to be produced
In scheduling and sequencing the production run by proper allocation of machines