Operations Research

Unit 1

Unit 1

Introduction to Operations Research

Structure: 1.1 Introduction Objectives 1.2 Historical Background Definitions of operations research 1.3 Scope of Operations Research 1.4 Features of Operations Research 1.5 Phases of Operations Research 1.6 Types of Operations Research Models A broad classification of OR models 1.7 Operations Research Methodology Definition Construction Solution Validation Implementation 1.8 Operations Research Techniques and Tools 1.9 Structure of the Mathematical Model 1.10 Limitations of Operations Research 1.11 Summary 1.12 Glossary 1.13 Terminal Questions 1.14 Answers 1.15 Case Study

1.1 Introduction
Welcome to the unit on operations research management. Operations research management focuses on the mathematical scoring of consequences of a decision aiming to optimise the use of time, effort, and resources to avoid blunders. The act of obtaining best results under any given circumstances is known as optimising. The key purpose of Operations Research (OR) is to do preparative calculations that aid the decision-making process.
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Operations Research

Unit 1

Hence, decision-making is a key part of our daily life. The ultimate goal of all decisions is to maximise benefits and to minimise effort and time. OR gives decision makers the power to make effective decisions and improve day-today operations. Decision makers consider all the available options, study the outcomes, and estimate the risks. In simple situations, common sense and judgement can be used to take decisions. For example, if you are buying a microwave or washing machine, the decision-making process is not very complicated. You can simply compare the price, quality, and durability of the well-known brands and models in the market and take a decision based on it. However, in complex situations, although it is possible to take decisions based on one’s common sense, a decision backed by mathematical calculations reduces the risk factor and increases the probability of success. Some such situations, where decision-makers have to depend on mathematical scoring and reasoning, are finding an appropriate product mix amidst competitor’s products or planning a public transportation network in a city. Objectives: After studying this unit, you should be able to:  describe the historical background of OR  list the significant features of OR  describe the methodology of OR  define the structure of a mathematical model in OR  describe the significance of the function of OR

1.2 Historical Background
During the World War II, scientists from United Kingdom studied the strategic and tactical problems associated with air and land defence of the country. The aim of this study was to determine the effective utilisation of limited military resources to win the battle. The technique was named operations research. After World War II, operations research techniques were developed and deployed in the decision-making process in complicated situations in various fields, such as industrial, academic, and government organisations.
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1.Operations Research Unit 1 1. can use OR techniques to find the best possible solution. training and supply.2. the three major military components namely. machine. The activities in each of these components can be further divided in four sub-components . This can be achieved by employing a team of scientists from different disciplines to work together for finding the best possible solution in the interest of the organisation as a whole.” Self Assessment Questions 1. You can also define operations research as “The use of scientific methods to provide criteria for decisions regarding man. Furthermore. Air Force. The applications of modern warfare techniques in each of the components of military organisations require expert knowledge in respective fields. 2. and Navy carry out the defence operations. Aackoff. intelligence. This Sikkim Manipal University Page No.  In defence operations – In modern warfare. there is a requirement to co-ordinate the activities of various components. The solution thus obtained is known as an optimal decision. and systems involving repetitive operations. techniques and tools to the operation of a system with optimum solutions to the problems” where 'optimum' refers to the best possible alternative. The main objective of OR is to provide a _______ ________ to the decision-makers. and Aruoff defined operations research as “the application of scientific methods. OR employs a team of _________ from _________ __________.administration. Army.1 Definitions of operations research Churchman. each component works to drive maximum gains from its operations and there is always a possibility that the strategy beneficial to one component may be unfeasible for another component. This section will explain the scope of OR by analysing its application in various fields of everyday life. operations. Thus in defence operations. either simple or complicated.3 Scope of Operations Research Any problem. 3 . The objective of OR is to provide a scientific basis to the decision-makers for solving problems involving interaction with various components of the organisation.

4   Sikkim Manipal University . Agriculture – With increase in population. but minimises cost of unit sales. having maximum use of the individual components. purchasing. A government can thus use OR for framing future economic and social policies.  In industry – The system of modern industries is so complex that an individual cannot intuitively judge the optimum point of operation in its various components. The application of OR techniques helps in overcoming this difficulty by integrating the diversified activities of various components to efficiently serve the interest of the organisation as a whole. There is always a need to check the validity of decisions continuously against the situations. known as the ‘optimum strategy’. Marketing department maximises the output. OR techniques can be fruitfully applied to maximise the per capita income. there is a need to increase agriculture output. OR methods in industry can be applied in the fields of production. However. A team of scientists from various disciplines gets together to study the strategies of different components. Page No. The industrial revolution with increased division of labour and introduction of management responsibilities has made each component an independent unit having its own goals. For example. inventory controls and marketing. Hence. Planning – In modern times. for the economic development of the country. the team selects the best course of action. You can solve this problem by applying OR techniques. and competitive strategies. The business environment is always changing and any decision useful at one time may not be suitable some time later. with minimum sacrifice and time. There are several restrictions. After appropriate analysis of the various courses of actions. this cannot be done arbitrarily. Thus. transportation.Operations Research Unit 1 gives maximum benefit to the organisation as a whole. Finance department tries to optimise the capital investment and personnel department appoints good people at minimum cost. it has become necessary for every government to carefully plan. production department minimises the cost of production but maximises output. the need to determine a course of action that serves the best under the given restrictions. each department plans its own objectives and all these objectives of various departments or components come to conflict with one another and may not agree to the overall objectives of the organisation.

  Self Assessment Questions 3. OR imbibes an inter–disciplinary team approach. In transport – Different OR methods can be applied to regulate the arrival of trains and processing times. The results can be optimal for one part of the system. OR scrutinises the problem from an organisation’s perspective. OR increases effectiveness of the management’s decision-making ability. A government can thus use OR for framing future ______ and _______ 4. personalities from different scientific and managerial cadre form a team to solve the problem. while the same can be unfavourable for another part of the system. OR uses computers to solve large and complex problems. Research and development – OR methodologies can be applied in the field of R&D for several purposes. to minimise the passengers waiting time and reduce congestion. In hospital OR methods can solve waiting problems in ______ department of big hospitals and ______ problems of the hospital organisations. OR also takes into account the human factors. Since no single individual can have a thorough knowledge of all the fast developing scientific know-how. and to formulate suitable transportation policy.4 Features of Operation Research Some key features of OR are as follows:  OR is system-oriented.Operations Research Unit 1  In hospitals – OR methods can solve waiting problems in outpatient department of big hospitals and administrative problems of the hospital organisations. OR uses scientific methods to solve problems. 1. such as to control and plan product introductions. OR offers a quantitative solution. thereby reducing the costs and time of transshipment. Page No. 5       Sikkim Manipal University .

Figure 1. Judgment phase This phase includes the following activities:  Determination of the operations  Establishment of objectives and values related to the operations  Determination of suitable measures of effectiveness  Formulation of problems relative to the objectives Research phase This phase utilises the following methodologies:  Operation and data collection for a better understanding of the problems  Formulation of hypothesis and model  Observation and experimentation to test the hypothesis on the basis of additional data  Analysis of the available information and verification of the hypothesis using pre-established measure of effectiveness  Prediction of various results and consideration of alternative methods Sikkim Manipal University Page No. 6 .Operations Research Unit 1 Self Assessment Questions 5. OR increases the effectiveness of ________ ability. Fig. OR ________ inter-disciplinary approach. 1.1: Phases of Operations Research Let us now study the phases in detail. 6.1 depicts the three phases of OR.5 Phases of Operations Research The scientific method in OR study generally involves three phases. 1.

The objective of a model is to identify significant factors that affect the reallife system and their interrelationships. The most significant advantage of a model is that it does not interfere with the real-life system. A model aids the decision-making process as it provides a simplified description of complexities and uncertainties of a problem in a logical structure. The recommendations can be made by those who identify and present the problem or by anyone who influences the operation in which the problem has occurred. (True/False) 1.6 Types of Operations Research Models A model is an idealised representation or abstraction of a real-life system. Fig. Self Assessment Questions 7. 1. 1.Operations Research Unit 1 Action phase This phase involves making recommendations for the decision process. 7 . (True/False) 8.2. Action phase involves making recommendations for the decision process. One of the OR phases is judgement phase.6.2: Classification of Models Sikkim Manipal University Page No.1 A broad classification of OR models You can broadly classify OR models into the types depicted in figure 1.

and charts. Sikkim Manipal University Page No. They are:  Iconic models  Analogue models Let us now study the two types of physical models in detail. 8 . Physical models These models include all forms of diagrams. Some examples of mathematical models are allocation. They are designed to tackle specific problems. such as an EOQ model. By nature of environment These models can be further classified as follows:   Deterministic models . There are two types of physical models. These models can simulate the actual performance of a product. For example. Analogue models are small physical systems having characteristics similar to the objects they represent. sequencing. graphs. Mathematical or symbolic models These models employ a set of mathematical symbols to represent the decision variable of the system. represented on a smaller scale. The variables are related by mathematical systems. such as toys. and replacement models. For example.Operations Research Unit 1 Let us now study the models in detail.These are the models in which everything is defined and the results are certain. Iconic models are primarily images of objects or systems. They bring out significant factors and interrelationships in pictorial form to facilitate analysis. By the extent of generality These models can be further classified as follows:   General models – These are the models which you can apply in general to any problem. Specific models . you can use the sales response curve or equation as a function in the marketing function.These are the models that you can apply only under specific conditions. such as the games theory. Probabilistic models .These are the models in which the input and output variables follow a defined probability distribution. linear programming.

Allocation problems are represented by iconic models. 9 .3. and implementing the result.7. They are defining the problem. (True/False) 1. Figure 1. Let us now study the steps in detail. The scientific method translates a given problem into a mathematical representation which is solved and retransformed into the original context. OR methodology consists of five steps. This distinct approach represents an adaptation of the scientific methodology used by the physical sciences.1 Definition The first and the most important step in the OR approach of problem solving is to define the problem. One needs to ensure that the problem is identified properly because this problem statement will indicate the following three major aspects:  Description of the goal or the objective of the study  Identification of the decision alternative to the system Sikkim Manipal University Page No. Fig.Operations Research Unit 1 Self Assessment Questions 9. 1. (True/False) 10. Diagram belongs to physical models.3: Steps in the OR methodology As shown in figure 1.7 Operations Research Methodology The basic dominant characteristic feature of operations research is that it employs mathematical representations or models to analyse problems. constructing the model. solving the model.3 depicts the OR approach to problem solving. 1. validating the model.

10 . since the model is based on careful examination of past data. this problem may be overcome by using data from trial runs of the system. and requirements of the system 1. appropriate models can be constructed. If under similar conditions of inputs.7. if the resulting model fits into one of the common mathematical models. the optimal solution must work towards improving the system’s performance. restrictions. 1.7. then you can be sure that your model is valid.3 Solution After deciding on an appropriate model. Therefore. In some instances. your model can reproduce the past performance of the system. An optimum solution is one which maximises or minimises the performance of any measure in a model subject to the conditions and constraints imposed on the model. Secondly. Hence. If the mathematical relationships of the model are too complex to allow analytic solutions. While selecting a model. a simulation model may be more appropriate. You can test the validity of a model by comparing its performance with some past data available from the actual system.2 Construction Based on the problem definition.Operations Research Unit 1  Recognition of the limitations. you need to ensure that the model specifies quantitative expressions for the objective and the constraints of the problem in terms of its decision variables. Sikkim Manipal University Page No.4 Validation A model is a good representation of a system. A model gives a perspective picture of the whole problem and helps in tackling it in a well-organised manner. you need to identify and select the most appropriate model to represent the system. you can obtain a convenient solution by using mathematical techniques. A solution to a model implies determination of a specific set of decision variables that would yield an optimum solution.7. the comparison should always reveal favourable results. One must note that such validation methods are not appropriate for non-existent systems because data will not be available for comparison. 1. you will still have no assurance that future performance will continue to duplicate the past behaviour. However. you need to develop a solution for the model and interpret the solution in the context of the given problem. However.

such as when to buy.5 Implementation You need to apply the optimal solution obtained from the model to the system and note the improvement in the performance of the system. each having a target value.7. You can use the queuing theory to estimate the required balance between customer waiting time and the service capability of the Page No. Programming models are developed to minimise deviations from these targets. The inventory model aims at optimising these inventory levels. Queuing model – The queuing theory is based on the concept of probability. you need not take into account all the constraints. There is no maximisation or minimisation of an objective function. Therefore. you take a single objective function and consider all other factors as constraints. However. The interaction between the operations research team and the operating personnel reaches its peak in this phase. Goal programming has several objective functions. You need to validate this performance check under changing conditions.8 Operations Research Techniques and Tools The different techniques and tools used in OR are as follows:  Linear programming – You can use linear programming to find a solution for optimising a given objective. in real life there may be a number of important objective functions. the application of queuing theory cannot be viewed as an optimisation process. In formulating a queuing model. You will learn about the various uses of linear programming in Unit 2.Operations Research Unit 1 1. purchasing. Inventory control methods – The production. The objective may be to maximise profit or to minimise cost. Goal programming – In linear programming. and how much to keep in stock. and material managers are always confronted with questions. To do so. how much to buy. 1. You need to ensure that both the objective function and the constraints can be expressed as linear expressions of decision variables. It indicates the capability of a given system and the changes possible in the system when you modify the system. you need to translate these results into detailed operating instructions issued in an understandable form to the individuals who will administer and operate the recommended system. 11    Sikkim Manipal University .

each of which has ai (i = 1. which you will learn in detail in the later units. 2…. Here ai and bj are positive integers. such as the average length of a queue. and then make a choice.m) units of homogeneous product and n destinations available.Operations Research Unit 1 system. there are tools such as the sequence model.  In addition to the above. the assignment model. n) units of products. The model studies the minimisation of the cost of transporting a commodity from a number of sources to several destinations. 2. You need to first consider several alternatives. The cost cij of transporting one unit of the product from the ith source to the jth destination is given for each i and j. …. and each of which requires bj (j = 1. The transportation problem involves m sources. The cost of transportation from the fictitious destination to all sources and from all destinations to the fictitious sources are assumed to be zero so that the total cost of transportation will remain the same..  Transportation model – The transportation model is an important class of linear programs. The criteria for evaluation will be measures of efficiency of the system. expected waiting time of a customer.  i 1 m ai   bj j 1 n (1) Condition (1) is guaranteed by creating either a fictitious destination with a demand equal to the surplus if total demand is less than the total supply or a (dummy) source with a supply equal to the shortage if total demand exceeds total supply. The supply at each source and the demand at each destination are known. study their effect on the system. your success primarily depends on the alternatives considered and not much on the queuing models developed.. and network analysis. 12 Sikkim Manipal University . Page No. In this approach.. evaluate them through queuing models. It is assumed that the total supply and the total demand are equal. The objective of the model is to develop an integral transportation schedule that meets all the demands from the inventory at a minimum total transportation cost. and the average time spent by the customer in the system.

9 Structure of the Mathematical Model Many industrial and business situations are concerned with planning activities. 13 . which are as follows:  Decision variables  Objective function  Constraints Let us now study the parts in detail. Objective function The objective function defines the measure of effectiveness of the system as a mathematical function of its decision variables. Sikkim Manipal University Page No. you can say that programming refers to planning and the process of decision-making about a particular plan of action from a given set of alternatives. and validation only. One has to take decisions regarding these resources to maximise production. there are limited sources. These problems are referred to as the problems of constrained optimisation. minimise the cost of production. In each case of planning. Therefore. Therefore. you can say that the objective function acts as an indicator for the achievement of the optimal solution. The interaction between the OR team and management reaches peak level in the implementation phase. and capital at the disposal of the planner. The parameters represent the controlled variables of the system. OR methodology consists of definition.Operations Research Unit 1 Self Assessment Questions 11. Decision variables Decision variables are the unknowns. solution. (True/False) 1. Any business activity or production activity to be formulated as a mathematical model can best be discussed through its parts. material. or maximise the profit. Linear programming is a technique for determining an optimal schedule of interdependent activities. (True/False) 12. The optimal solution to the model is obtained when the corresponding values of the decision variable yield the best value of the objective function whilst satisfying all constraints. for the given resources. such as men. which you need to determine from the solution of the model. machines.

2. These are expressed as constraining mathematical functions. -----. x 2 ----. you need to ensure that the model includes constraints. The constraint xj  0 is called the non-negativity condition. 2. Sikkim Manipal University Page No.n. i = 1. Restrictions from sales department about the marketability of some products are also treated as constraints. 3. ---. The function f is called the objective function. which restricts the variables to zero or positive values only. that is. ---. . Thus. the desire of the decision-maker is expressed as a function of ‘n’ decision variables. where xj  bi.Operations Research Unit 1 While formulating a problem. The mathematical models in OR may be viewed generally as determining the values of the decision variables x J. 3 ---.x n)  b i. a linear programming problem has a set of constraints in practice. which limit the decision variables to their feasible range or permissible values.x n). represent the ith constraint for i = 1. For example. there are restrictions from the government regarding the releasing of gases into the environment. where J = 1. which will optimise Z = f (x 1.m And xJ  0 j = 1. 3 ---. x 2. (This function is a linear programming problem. or =. each of its items will have only one variable raised to the power one). Subject to the constraints: g i (x 1. in chemical industries. 14 . 2.n where  is . Some of the objective functions in practice are:  Maximisation of contribution or profit  Minimisation of cost  Maximisation of production rate or minimisation of production time  Minimisation of labour turnover  Minimisation of overtime  Maximisation of resource utilisation  Minimisation of risk to environment or factory Constraints To account for the physical limitations of the system.m where bi is a known constant. 2.

One unit of food–2 contains 6 units of vitamin–A and 3 units of vitamin–B. Since the minimum requirement of vitamin–B is 80 units. Mathematical model of the diet problem: Suppose. 15 . Since each unit of food– 2 contains 6 units of vitamin–A. Since cost has to be minimised. the cost of the mixture is given by cost = 5x1 + 6x2.6x2. the mixture contains 5x1 + 6x2 units of vitamin-A. Since each unit of food– 1 contains 5 units of vitamin– A. The cost per one unit of food–1 is Rs. we have that x2 units of food–2 contains 6x2 units of vitamin–A. Therefore. Therefore. you can write min z = 5x1 + 6x2. If we write z for the cost function. x1 = the number of units of food–1 in the mixture x2 = the number of units of food–2 in the mixture. and x2 units of food–2 costs Rs.5x1. Therefore.6. you can say that 2x2 + 3x2  80 Next let’s formulate the cost function. we have that x1 units of food–1 contains 5x1 units of vitamin– A.6.Operations Research Unit 1 Example. Since each unit of food–2 contains 3 units of vitamin–B. One unit of food–1 contains 5 units of vitamin–A and 2 units of vitamin–B.5 and one unit of food–2 is Rs. The minimum daily requirement of a person is 60 units of vitamin–A and 80 units of Vitamin–B. you can say that 5x1 + 6x2  60. Since the minimum requirement of vitamin– A is 60 units. Since each unit of food–1 contains 2 units of vitamin–B we have that x1 units of food–1 contains 2x1 units of vitamin-B. then you can write z = 5x1 + 6x2.5 and one unit of food–2 is Rs. we have that x2 units of food–2 contains 3x2 units of vitamin–B. Find the minimum cost of the mixture (food–1 and food–2) which meets the daily minimum requirements of vitamins. Assume that any excess units of vitamins are not harmful. Diet problem Formulate the mathematical model for the following: Vitamin–A and Vitamin–B are found in food–1 and food–2. Now let’s formulate the constraint related to vitamin–B. Let us formulate the constraint related to vitamin-A. Sikkim Manipal University Page No. x1 units of food–1 costs Rs. Given that the cost of one unit of food–1 is Rs. Therefore the mixture contains 2x1 + 3x2 units of vitamin–B.

 Communication gap – There is a wide gap between the expectations of managers and the aim of research professionals. Sikkim Manipal University Page No. the first step is _______. you have x1  0.  Time and money factors – When you subject the basic data to frequent changes then incorporating them into OR models becomes a costly affair. The limitations are:  Magnitude of computation – Modern problems involve a large number of variables. 16 .  Human factor – Implementation of decisions involves human relations and behaviour. the mathematical model is: 5x1 + 6x2  60 2x1 + 3x2  80 x1  0. To solve any problem through OR approach. 17. 18. min z = 5x1 + 6x2. 15.  Intangible factors – Non–quantitative factors and human emotional factors cannot be taken into account. and money factors. x2  0. _________ represents a real life system. _________ represents the controlled variables of the system. Linear programming is tool of _______.10 Limitations of Operations Research The limitations are more related to the problems of model building. 14. Therefore. The three phases of OR are ________. time. The magnitude of computation makes it difficult to find the interrelationship. 1. 16.Operations Research Unit 1 Since the number of units (x1 or x2) are always non-negative. x2  0. OR imbibes _________ team approach. Self Assessment Questions 13.

12 Glossary Probability: possible outcomes of an event Hypothesis: unproved theory Network analysis: a mathematical representation of the problem by lines and nodes joined to form a network Sikkim Manipal University Page No. The three phases of OR are Judgement phase. it imbibes inter– disciplinary team approach and uses scientific methods to solve problems. Some of the limitations of OR are magnitude of computation. industry. communication gap. The steps in OR methodology are problem definition. queuing model and transportation model are the different tools and techniques used in OR. time and money factors and human factors         1. Linear programming. and action phase. models by nature of environment and models by extent of generality. government. goal programming. research phase. 17 . model validation and result implementation.11 Summary Let us recapitulate the important concepts discussed in this unit:  The objective of OR is to provide a scientific basis to the decisionmakers for solving problems involving interaction with various components of the organisation The scope of OR is in various fields such as defence. model solution. hospitals. intangible factors. model construction. transport and research and development. You can broadly classify OR models according to physical models. inventory control methods.Operations Research Unit 1 1. Any business activity or production activity has to be formulated as a mathematical model. mathematical models . agriculture. Some key features of OR are OR is system oriented.

different disciplines economic . 2. What are the features of OR? What is a model in OR? Discuss the different models available in OR. 8. 9. Some key features of OR are OR is system oriented.refer 1. 18. 3. 14. Scientific basis Scientists. Write short notes on the different phases of OR. techniques and tools to the operation of a system with optimum solutions to the problems .refer 1.6 Sikkim Manipal University Page No.refer 1. 18 .4 3.2. 2. 16. 11. 5.14 Answers Self Assessment Questions 1.1 2. 10. and action phase Define the problem Model Parameters Terminal Questions 1. it imbibes inter– disciplinary team approach and uses scientific methods to solve problems . research phase. 6. 15. What are the limitations of OR? 1. 4. Types of operations research models . 5. 13. 17. social policies Outpatient. 12. 7. 4.Operations Research Unit 1 1.13 Terminal Questions 1. OR is defined as the application of scientific methods. 3. Define OR. administrative Imbibes Decision making True True True False False False Inter-disciplinary OR Judgement phase.

 A forecasting system module contains a few programs for estimating the failure rates of individual types of parts. which included two central automated warehouses. A particularly interesting aspect of the model validation phase of this study was the way the future users of the inventory system had been incorporated into the testing process.15 Case Study IMB Optimiser System IBM was considering integrating its national network of spare parts inventories to improve service support for their customers. Large computer system was used to apply this model. 19 .10 1. and many thousands of outstation locations.  A data delivery system module consists of approximately 100 programs that process over 15 gigabytes of data to provide the input for the model. parts distribution network.5 5.  A decision system module then solves the model on a weekly basis to optimise control of the inventories. representatives were appointed to a user team to serve as advisors to the OR team. After a preliminary version of the new system had been developed.Operations Research Unit 1 4.refer 1. The system developed was called ‘optimiser. research and action phase . Because these future users were sceptical about the system being developed. Extensive feedback from the user team led to major improvements in the proposed system. They developed a model for their inventory system that improved customer service while reducing the value of IBM’s inventories by $ 250 million and saving an additional $20 million per year through improved operational efficiency.S. a pre-implementation test of the system was conducted. Optimiser consists of four major modules.refer 1. PIMS is a Sikkim Manipal University Page No. The parts inventory maintained in this network is valued in billions of dollars. dozens of field distribution centres. Phases of operations research are judgement.’ It provided optimal control of service levels and spare-parts inventories throughout IBM’s U. Limitations of OR .  The fourth module includes six programs that integrate the optimiser into IBM’s Parts Inventory Management System (PIMS).

Sultan Chand and Sons.com/samplechapter/001012. A second success factor was a very extensive user acceptance test whereby users could identify problem areas that needed to be rectified prior to implementation.. http://www. Sharma J. Cohen M.References:  newagepublishers. Operations Research. Sikkim Manipal University Page No. operational managers had a strong sense of ownership and had become ardent supporters for installing optimiser in their functional areas. Explain optimiser with its modules. Three factors proved to be especially important in achieving a successful implementation. K.. V.. with careful testing at each phase. Sultan Chand and Sons. (2005). Macmillan India Limited. 2. Careful planning was required to implement the complex optimiser system for controlling IBM’s national network of spare-parts inventories. How did this new system help and what were the reasons for its success. S.. & Kamesan P. Discussion Questions: 1. “Optimizer: IBM’s Multi-Echelon Invenentory System for Managing Service Logistics”. 1990). Operations Research. & Lee H. Operation Research. Prentice Hall. K. & Tekerian A. Kanti Swarup & Gupta P.Operations Research Unit 1 sophisticated information and control system that contains millions of lines of code.. Reference:      Kapoor V. (Jan-Feb. Taha H.com. (2006). & Kleindorfer P. 20 . By the time implementation phase was reached. The third key was that a new system was phased in gradually. 3. Analyse the need for OR team at IBM. Operations Research.pdf. K. E. so the major bugs could be eliminated before the system went live nationally. & Manmohan (2004).. & Hira D.newagepublishers.

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