In a nutshell, operational research (O.R.) is the discipline of applying advanced analytical methods to help make better decisions.
By using techniques such as problem structuring methods (sometimes known as 'Soft O.R.') and mathematical modelling to analyse complex situations, operational research gives executives the power to make more effective decisions and build more productive systems based on:
Once a good or better way of proceeding has been identified, OR people are often central to the implementation of the proposed change.
Organisations may seek a very wide range of operational improvements - for example, greater efficiency, better customer service, higher quality or lower cost. Whatever the business engineering aim, OR can offer the flexibility and adaptability to provide objective help.
Most of the problems OR tackles are messy and complex, often entailing considerable uncertainty. OR can use advanced quantitative methods, modelling, problem structuring, simulation and other analytical techniques to examine assumptions, facilitate an in -depth understanding and decide on practical action.