Operations research and management science uses advanced analytical methods, such as mathematical models, to help management executives make more efficient and strategic business decisions. Operations research tools are relevant to nearly every aspect of a business, including scheduling, production planning, productivity, pricing, forecasting and strategic planning. A consultant specializing in operations research/management science can help your company with everything from planning for a potential terrorist attack to deciding how to allocate financial resources.
Operational research and management science thrives on data; the more numbers, variables and systems you can incorporate into the analysis, the more comprehensive it will be. Operational research techniques include:
- Using simulation to test different approaches and processes.
- Using optimization to narrow down even an extensive list of options.
- Outlining sequential activities, to determine what needs to be completed first.
Hire a consultant skilled in business operations researchIf you're new to operations research/management science, you'll likely want to enlist the assistance of a consultant. It's a highly specialized field, and any changes made could have a significant impact on your organization. A consultant can tailor a plan specifically for your company, and will have access to the latest methods, strategies and technological tools
Learn from the management science experiences of other companiesIf you're considering implementing operations research/management science processes, find out how this practice has worked for other companies. Through case studies, you can find out the challenges other businesses have faced when adopting these practices, how they dealt with these challenges, and what impact the procedure had on their organization.
case studies on management topics, including operations management and strategy. The Stanford School of Business offers case studies on operations and strategic management.
Consider management science softwareProviders of management science software offer packages that can help you with everything from risk management to general decision making. In fact, consultants frequently utilize software to help them perform the most accurate analysis and recommendations they can.
- Operations research/management science isn't just for companies who need to revamp their practices and procedures; it can also help you stay competitive, and even gain an edge over others in your field. Consider operations management not only if you're having trouble with your processes or you're not getting as much from your data as you'd like, but also if you regularly face complex decisions or want to make your company more competitive before you fall behind.