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Role And Scope of Operations Research

The term operations research originated during second world war when U.S.A and Great Britain’s Armed Forces sought hesitance of scientists to solve complex and very difficult strategically and tactical problems of warfare, like making mines harmless or increasing the efficiency of antisubmarine aerial wafer etc.

Operations research employs mathematical logic to complex problems requiring managerial decisions. It signifies research on operations. However, it take-in consideration a particular view of operations and a particular kind of research. Operations research is the organized application of modern science, mathematics and computer techniques to complex military, government, business or industrial problems arising in the direction and management of large system of men, materials, money and machines.

The purpose is to provide the management with explicit quantitative understating and assessment of complex situations; to have sounder basis for arriving at best decisions. Operations research seeks the optimum state in all spheres and thus provides optimum solution to organizational problems. It is of considerable value in production management.

Various steps involved in operations research are as follows:

(i)    Understand the actual real situation, capture the same and define the problem.
(ii)    Formulate a mathematical model

A model is of great help in facilitating the investigations of operations and operations research expresses a problem by a model. The model covers the relationship of the variables. Generally two types of models are employed. An analogue model which takes the form of a mechanical system. The other, called symbolic model which is in the form of a matrix, a graph or an equation. This is also known as mathematical model Models provide solutions in quantitative form (cost, weight, etc.) depending upon the problem

Operations research models can also be classified as probabilistic and exact models probabilistic models rely upon the probability theory and contain obvious recognition uncertainty. They are very useful in advertising problems. In exact models, chance or uncertainty plays a very minor role, for example, as in ling range production planning with order already in hand.

(iii)    Develop a  mathematical solution:-
Data is supplied to a model. Information is completed; addressors are analyzed to find the mathematical solution for alternative pellicles.
(iv)    Interpret the solution and prepare the information in such a form that it is meaningful intelligible and quantitative. Translate it into a decision.
(v)    Implement the decision to a real (actual) situation
(vi)    Verify the results.
After applying the solution to real saturation, the actual results produced by model must be tested statistically and verified to explore any significant deviating from the expected results. If found so, the model can be modified and again the cycle is repeated.

A few applications of operations research are as follows:
(a) Location factories and warehouses to minimize transportation costs
(b) Work allocation to machines for minimizing production time and costs
(c) Inventory problems
(d) Material handling
(e) Dealing with waiting times
(f) Equipment replacements
(g) Dividing advertising budget
(h) Establishing equitable bonus systems
(i) Routing of tankers
(j) Traffic control
(k) Petrochemical mixes
(l) Municipal and hospital administration
(m) Marketing, etc.

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