Executive guide to operations research

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EXECUTIVE GUIDE TO OPERATIONS RESEARCH

PANTS-LESS
THE WORLD’S MOST SUCCESSFUL EXECUTIVES ARE MAKING BOLDER DECISIONS – AND RUNNING EVERYDAY OPERATIONS – WITH LESS RISK AND BETTER OUTCOMES. THEIR SECRET? OPERATIONS RESEARCH: THE SCIENCE OF BETTER

SEAT-OF-THE

“IT ALLOWED US TO SEIZE THE INITIATIVE IN THE MARKETPLACE. WE HAVE MOVED FORWARD LIKE A BULLET TRAIN AND IT IS OUR COMPETITORSTHAT ARE SCRAMBLING NOT TO GET RUN OVER.”
Launny Steffens Vice-Chairman Merrill Lynch and Company

OPERATIONS RESEARCH: THE SECRET OF BETTER DECISION MAKING IN A COMPLEX WORLD
We all have to fly by the seats of our pants sometimes. But always? Executives in every kind of organization – large and small, private and public, for-profit and not-for-profit – are using operations research (O.R.) tounlock the value in their data, model complex systems, and make better decisions with less risk. Whether O.R. is used to inform high-level strategy or improve day-to-day operations, the results speak for themselves: Insight into difficult problems. Improved processes, productivity, and performance. Millions in cost savings and increased revenues. More (and better) options. Accurate predictions, plans,and forecasts. More profitable pricing. Greater market share. Higher quality. Superior ROI. Better asset utilization….

THIS GUIDE WILL GET YOU STARTED FAST
In just a few minutes, you’ll learn what you need to know about O.R. What it really is and why it’s so powerful – PAGE 2. The kind of value it has delivered for others, and how to recognize your own opportunities – PAGE 7. How to find and workwith the right O.R. professional – PAGE 10.

THERE’S MORE AT WWW.SCIENCEOFBETTER.ORG
You’ll find dozens of O.R. success stories you can search by industry, functional area, or benefit delivered. You can also access tools for finding O.R. professionals and companies with the expertise you and your organization need. The site – and this guide – were created for you by INFORMS,® the non-profitInstitute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences. A primary part of our mission is helping executives like you use the power of O.R. to improve their organizations.

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WHAT IS OPERATIONS RESEARCH?
In a nutshell, operations research is the discipline of applying advanced analytical methods to help make better decisions. By using techniques such as mathematical modeling to analyzecomplex situations, operations research gives executives the power to make more effective decisions and build more productive systems based on:
• • • •

More complete data Consideration of all available options Careful predictions of outcomes and estimates of risk The latest decision tools and techniques

A uniquely powerful approach to decision making
You’ve probably seen dozens of articles andads about solutions that claim to enhance your decision-making capabilities. You may not realize it, but the best of these solutions are based on O.R. When it comes to technology that assists decision making, O.R. is unique. It’s best of breed, employing highly developed methods practiced by specially trained professionals. It’s powerful, using advanced tools and technologies to provideanalytical power that no ordinary software or spreadsheet can deliver out of the box. And it’s tailored to you, because an O.R. professional offers you the ability to define your specific challenge in ways that make the most of your data and uncover your most beneficial options.
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EXECUTIVE GUIDE TO OPERATIONS RESEARCH

CONTINENTAL AIRLINES SPEEDS RECOVERY AFTER 9/11Operations research firm CALEB Technologies worked with Continental to develop a decision support system to generate near-optimal crew recovery solutions for responding to emergencies. Continental estimates that the system helped it save $40 million in 2001. And thanks to the system, Continental led the American airline industry in recovering operations after September 11, 2001. Learn how Continental and...
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