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Nature of operations research

            The term Operations Research refers to the application of scientific methodology of several different disciplines to problems related to the functioning or operating of some unit business government or institutional Management asks operations Research experts to provide quantitative bases for such decisions which will permit management to make the best operating decisions. The operations researchers are expected by mangers to analyze the managerial problems which involve the operations of systems to gather essential data to interpret those data to build one or more models, to manipulate and experiment with those models and finally to predict and make recommendations about future operations.

            The growth of operations research activities, in organizations has been rapid. The operations Research specialists have not replaced managers nor have they taken over the decision making responsibility. The correct role of operations Research specialist is to help the manager make better decisions.

            Operations Research may "provide top-level administrators with a quantitative basis for decisions that will increase the effectiveness of such organizations in carrying out their basic purpose the committee on operations research of the National Research council U.S.A. business management major activities are planning control and organizing all of which entail extensive decision making which has been carried out in the past on the basis of hunches intuition and judgment O.R has injected quantification and has brought decision making a major step forward.

            At operation s level, O.R provides scientific rules of decision making. For example economic lots may be used instead of such rules of thumb as "order 2 months requirements. Likewise scientific rules for production scheduling equipment (that fails suddenly or deteriorates) replacement etc... Can be framed. This not only optimizes the total cost but also routs nesses (or leads to programmed) decision making that can be entrusted to relatively junior staff or the computer.

            O.R. provides insight into problems for decision at higher echelons. For example marketing simulations attempt to reproduce the behavior of distributor's customers and/or competitors. Especially customer simulations seek to describe the formation of attitudes and buying behavior of actual and potential customers. Competitive simulations seek to describe the marketing actions and reactions of competitors on an ongoing marketing process. Such models do not provide automatic decisions but express some aspects of real life situations in the light of which the executive can exercise better judgment.

Remark. The application of the operation research techniques to complex problems of an organization involves taking into account the total system which influences the decision making process. The operations researcher not only considers all the factors in the environment and their interrelationship but tries to present them in a quantified from so that the implefications of change in any of the factors can be easily assessed. Operations Research is thus a scientific approach to decision making and is an integral part of the multi disciplinary area of management philosophy.

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