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Operation Research Essay

INTRODUCTION & HISTORY OF OPERATIONAL RESEARCH
Operational research came into existence in 1885 when Frederick W. Taylor emphasised the application of scientific analysis to methods of production. The name (OR) probably came from a programme under taken by Great Britain during world war2, “research in military operations”. After the success of OR in military operations, it quickly spread to all phases of Industry and Government. By 1951, OR had take place as a distinct science in the United States. Hence it is said that Or is “the art of winning war without actually fighting it”.

OPERATIONAL RESEARCH IN INDIA:
In India OR society founded in 1959, also became a member of International Federation of OR Societies in 1959. Now OR techniques are used in almost all the walks of our life and Or is emerging as an interdisciplinary areas of knowledge that can make contribution to the solution of the problems in diversified areas of interest. There is too much impact of OR in economics, management, engineering and other social & behaviour sciences.

DEFINITION OF OPERATION RESEARCH:
* Operational research is the art of giving bad answers to problems which otherwise have worse answers. T.L. SAATY * Operational research is the scientific approach to problem solving for executive management. H.M. WAGNER * Operational Research (OR) is the use of advanced analytical techniques to improve decision making. It is sometimes known as Operations Research, Management Science or Industrial Engineering. People with skills in OR hold jobs in decision support, business analytics, marketing analysis and logistics planning – as well as jobs with OR in the title.

ACKOFF & SASIENI

NATURE OF OPERATIONAL RESEARCH:
Operational Research involves research on (military) operations. This indicates the approach as well as the area of applications of the field. Thus it is an approach to problems of how to coordinate and control the operations or activities within an organisation. In order to run an organisation effectively as a whole the problem that arises frequently is coordination among the conflicting goal of its various functional departments. Let’s consider the problem of the stocks of finished goods. The various departments of the organisation may like to handle this problem differently. * To the marketing department, stock of large variety of products is a means of supplying the company’s customers with what they want and where they want it. Clearly the fully stocked ware- house is of prime importance to the company.

* The production department argues for long production runs preferably on a smaller product range, particularly if there is a significant time loss when production switched from one variety to another. * On the other hand, finance department sees stocks kept as capital tied up unproductively and argues strongly for their reduction. * Finally the personnel department sees great advantage in labour relations if there is a steady level of production leading to steady employment. To optimise the whole system, the decision maker must decide the best policy keeping in view the relative importance of objectives and validity of conflicting claims of various departments from the perspective of the whole organisation.

Operations research thus helps to seek the optimal solution to a problem and not merely one which gives better solutions than the one currently in use. The decision taken by the decision maker may not be acceptable to every department but it should be optimal for the organisation as a whole or at least for a large portion of the total organisation. In order to obtain such type of solution, the decision maker must follow the effects and interactions of a particular decision.

APPLICATIONS OF OPERATIOANL RESEARCH

A. ACCOUNTING:
* Cash flow & fund flow planning’s.
* Credit policy analysis.
* Planning of delinquent account strategy.

B. CONSTRUCTION:
* Allocation of resources to projects.
* Determination and deployment of proper work forces.
* Project scheduling, monitoring and control.

C. FACILITIES PLANNING:
* Factory size and location decision.
* Hospital planning.
* International logistics systems design.
* Estimation of number of facilities required.
* Transportation loading and unloading.
* Warehouse location decision.

D. FINANCE:
* Dividend policy decision.
* Investment decision.
* Portfolio analysis.

E. MANUFACTURING:
* Inventory control.
* Projection marketing balance.
* Production scheduling.
* Production smoothing.

F. MARKETING:
* Advertising budget allocation.
* Product introduction timing.
* Selection of product mix.
* Customer’s preferences.

G. ORGANISATION BEHAVIOUR:
* Personnel selection & planning.
* Scheduling of training programs.
* Skills balancing.
* Recruitment of Employees.

H. PURCHASING:
* Material transfers.
* Optimal buying.
* Optimal reordering.

I. RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT:
* Control of R&D projects.
* Product introduction planning.

CONCLUSION:
Operational research, also known as operations research, is an interdisciplinary branch of applied mathematics and formal science that uses advanced analytical methods such as mathematical modelling, statistical analysis, and mathematical optimization to arrive at optimal or near-optimal.


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