Businesses continue to grow in complexity and, at the same time, companies are facing increased competition. To survive and grow in such an environment, businesses need access to tools that allow them to understand their strengths, their weaknesses and to determine the optimal direction forward.
In the first decade of my career, most optimization models that I authored also required one or more scripts. They were necessary to automate tasks such as importing data, setting parameters, solving the model, executing another program (e.g., to crunch numbers), generating reports, and so on. Most were written in DOS shell, with an occasional UNIX shell depending on the platform used.
“I used to use [AIMMS, GAMS, MPL…] but I don’t anymore.”
I heard this comment repeatedly this week at the Institute for Operations Research and Management Sciences (INFORMS) conference in Philadelphia, PA. My colleague, Rohan Guthal, and I staffed the River Logic booth from November 1-3. We met with a variety of professors, students and practitioners. In nearly every case, when asked – “What optimization software are you using?” — that was the response we heard: they used to use a certain program, but no longer do. More on this below...
Well-run organizations continually assess the risk associated with critical internal dependencies and external factors, like the condition of physical assets and security of facilities, as well as exchange rates, government policy, economic cycles, regulatory and environmental laws, etc. The list of serious risk factors that most businesses face can be quite long.