Operational research (OR) is the discipline of applying appropriate analytical methods to help make better operational decisions with less risk.
OR provides a range of mathematical techniques that allows a business to:
- See through complexity to identify issues and opportunities,
- Enhance subjective judgment with fact-based analysis,
- Analyse current states and future designs to develop benefits and understand any linked risks,
- Accurately match capacity to demand whilst predicting service levels,
- Underpin business decisions with independent analysis and scrutiny – very useful for capital intensive or business critical projects.
To achieve these results, OEE applies a range of analytical technologies, including:
Simulation modelling – which provides the ability to try out operational designs and test ideas for improvement. Examples applications: resourcing telephony operations, capacity analysis of transactional print and mail sites, reducing queues at retail counters, designing the processes for new manufacturing facilities.
Optimisation – selecting the most beneficial choice from a large number of feasible options. Examples applications: optimising network design, setting optimal shift patters or individual rosters, combining processes together to level demand.
Probability and Statistics – measuring risk and results at specific confidence intervals, mine data to find valuable connections, test conclusions, and make reliable forecasts. Examples applications: forecasting demand and its variability; predicting SLA performance over a given week; optimum skills profile.