3 common barriers to optimisation

Mathematical optimisation can be a powerful tool for businesses aiming to reduce operating costs, achieve higher throughput, and meet contractual agreements. Some consultants will even tell you that optimisation can do everything, but even the most potent toolset will be unhelpful unless applied appropriately. Here are a few crucial points that that you need to tick off before you can bring optimisation to bear in your business:

  1. Data needs to be available, or able to be manufactured. This one might seem obvious, but non-existent or inefficient data-capture is a common barrier for businesses that want to start optimising. Get in touch if you want to chat about capturing data that will enable optimisation.
  2. A set of decisions needs to be quantifiable. These may not always be obvious, but are typically the type of decisions made by planning or day-of-ops managers. What staff should we schedule? What order should we fill first? How should our network be designed? What order should I deliver these parcels in? Should we lease additional floor space or equipment? Defining the crucial decisions is often one of the most challenging steps when looking to optimise a business. Once the decision is defined, mathematical optimisation can give a clear answer – with the numbers to back it up.
  3. Potential business changes need to be implementable. It may be frustrating to find that different operating practices will have significant cost savings, but then realise that regulatory or labour restrictions are fixed. Optimisation can be transformative, but unless a business is prepared to transform, savings may be limited. When we engage with large organisations, we aim to immediately identify issues in this area, and employ change management strategies, or combine this in the mathematical process to make sure our great results can be implemented.

Can you tick all three boxes? Sounds like you’re ready to drive efficiency through the roof.

The results can be impressive as this case study shows.

Got some concerns around ticking them all off? Let’s have a chat and get rid of those barriers, so you can compete, not just survive.

By David Lynch, Commercial Mathematician

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