Scope of Operations Research
Operation Research is today recognized as an Applied Science concerned with a large number of diverse human activities. To be precise an operation uses some valuable resources like men money machines time effort etc. the outcome of the operation has also some value. An Operation Research worker is required: (i) to minimize the input value for a specific output, or/and (ii) to maximize the output value for a specific input or/and (iii) maximize some function of these values for example the profit function (difference between output and input values) or return on investment function (ratio of output and input values).
Operations Research & Management. Some of the areas of management where tools of operations Research are applied are listed below:
1. Finance Budgeting and investments
(a) Cash flow analysis long range capital requirements investment portfolios dividend policies, etc.
(b) Credit policies credit risks and delinquent account procedures-claim and complaint procedures.
2. Purchasing Procurement and Exploration.
(a) Determining the quantity and timing of purchase of raw materials machinery etc.
(b) Rules for buying and supplies under varying prices
(c) Bidding policies
(d) Equipment replacement policies
(e) Determination of quantities and timings of purchases.
(f) Strategies for exploration and exploitation of new material sources.
3. Production Management
(i) Physical distribution.
(a) Location and size of warehouses distribution centers retailoutets etc.
(b) Distribution policy.
(ii) Manufacturing and facility planning.
(a) Production scheduling and sequencing
(b) Project scheduling and allocation or resources.
(c) Number and location of factories were houses hospitals and their sizes.
(d) Determining the optimum production mix.
(a) Maintenance policies and preventive maintenance
(b) Maintenance crew sizes.
4. Marketing Management
(a) Product selection timing competitive actions.
(b) Advertising strategy and choice of different media of adverusing
(c) Number of salesman frequency of calling of account etc
(d) Effectiveness of market research.
(e) Size of the stock to meet the future demand
5. Personal Management
(a) Recruitment policies and assignment of jods.
(b) Selection of suitable personnel on minimum salary.
(c) Mixes of age and skills.
(d) Establishing equitable bonus systems.
6. Research and Development.
(a) Determination of areas of concentration of research and development
(b) Reliability and evaluation of alternative designs
(c) Control of developed projects
(d) Co-ordination of multiple research projects
(e) Determination of time cost requirements
Form all above areas of applications we may conclude that OR can be widely used in taking timely management decisions and also used as a corrective measure. The application of this tool involves certain data and not merely a personality of decision maker and hence we can say OR has replaced management by personality
Remark. Besides its use in industry this new technique was also utilized in a number of socio-economic problems which came up after the war. Operations Research has come to be used in a very large number of areas such as problems of traffic question of deciding a suitable for public transport or industrial processes like ore-handling
Its use has now extended to academic spheres, such as the problems of communication of information socio-economic fields and national planning. The real development of Operation Research in the national field was carried out by prof. Mahalanobis in India when he used it in national planning.
OR is also being used in Railways. Waiting or queucing problems of passengers for tickets at booking windows or trains queueing up in marshalling yard waiting to be sorted out are tackled by various OR techniques.
OR approach is also applicable to enable the L.I.C. offices of decide:
(i) What should be the premium rates for various modes of policies?
(ii) How best the profits could be distributed in the cases of with profit policies? etc.
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