Operations Research


An operations research model as some sort of mathematical or theoretical description of various variables of a system representing some aspects of a problem on some subject of interest or inquiry. The model enables to conduct a number of experiment involving theoretical subjective manipulations to find some optimum solution to the problem on hand.

 Linear Programming Model

This model is used for resource allocation when the resources are limited and there are number of competing candidates for the use of resources. The model may be used to maximize the returns or minimize the costs.

Consider the following two situations:

A.      A company which is manufacturing variety of products by using available resources wants to use resources optimally and manufacture different quantities of each type of product, which yield different returns, so as to maximize the returns.

B.      A company manufactures different types of alloys by purchasing the three basic materials and it want to maintain a definite percentage of basic materials in each alloy. The basic materials are to be purchased from the sellers and mix them to produce the desired alloy.

This is to be done at minimum cost. Both of them are resource allocation models, the case (a) is maximization problem and the case (b) is minimization problem.

C.      Number of factories are manufacturing the same commodities in different capacities and the commodity is sent to various markets for meeting the demands of the consumers, when the cost of transportation is known, the linear programming helps us to formulate a programme to distribute the commodity from factories to markets at minimum cost. The model used is Transportation model.

D.      When a company has number of orders on its schedule, which are to be processed on same machines and the processing time, is known, then we have to allocate the jobs or orders to the machines, so as to complete all the jobs in minimum time. This we can solve by using Assignment model.

Sequencing Model

When a manufacturing firm has some job orders, which can be processed on two or three machines and the processing times of each job on each machine is known, and then the problem of processing in a sequence to minimize the cost or time is known as sequencing model.

Waiting Line Model or Queuing Model

A model used for solving a problem where certain service facilities have to provide service to its customers, so as to avoid lengthy waiting line or queue, so that customers will get satisfaction from effective service and idle time of service facilities are minimized is waiting line model or queuing model.

Replacement Model

Any capital item, which is continuously used for providing service or for producing the product, is subjected to wear and tear due to usage, and its efficiency goes on reducing. This reduction in efficiency can be predicted by the increasing number of breakdowns or reduced productivity. The worn out parts or components are to be replaced to bring the machine back to work. This action is known as maintenance. A time is reached when the maintenance cost becomes very high and the

Inventory Models

Any manufacturing firm has to maintain stock of materials for its use. This stock of materials, which are maintained in stores, is known as inventory. Inventory is one form of capital or money. The company has to maintain inventory at optimal cost. There are different types of inventory problems, depending the availability and demand pattern of the materials. These can be solved by the application of inventory models.