Operations Research

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Every innovative business owner or manager likes hearing the words optimisation, improvement, problem solving and cost-saving. These words are commonly associated with the field of Operations Research (OR). Sometimes people also referred to OR as Management Science or Decision Science. Although it’s a lesser known field,  especially in South Africa, we have found that people working on these type of projects get very excited once they start talking about it.

What is Operations Research (OR)?

Operations Research (OR) uses analytics, mathematical logic and programming  to improve decision making and solve problems in managing organisations. The main objectives of OR are to improve productivity, effectiveness and assist companies in achieving the same or improved results by streamlining their day-to-day activies.

When to apply OR

Today’s world requires that we make creative decisions based on scientific methods to achieve efficiency and ultimately save costs. Accurate and clean data are essential elements for building models and analysing. The cleaner the database, the more accurate the conclusions will be. You don’t necessarily need a problem to benefit from OR. If you have sufficient data, OR can help you to improve your business processes. All departments can benefit through OR: Finance, Supply Chain, Logistics, Military, Health Care, Manufacturing, and Retail. In fact any area of business can be optimised including decision making, forecasting, cost reduction, productivity, pricing, scheduling, network optimisation, resource allocation or planning.

Where to apply OR

In the OR world, the possibilities for application are endless. Every business can improve their operations. These opportunities will start to present itself once you begin to take an in-depth look at your data and day-to-day activities.

A few examples of areas where OR can be applied:

  • Big Data
  • Financial Modelling
  • Supply Chain Management
  • Statistics
  • Web Analytics
  • Operations Management
  • Logistics and Procurement
  • Information System Concepts and Tools
  • Process Change and Improvement Approaches
  • Traditional Operations Research
  • Decision Making
  • Project Management
  • Applied Mathematics