The article presents a list of books received for review in the 1996 issue of the journal "Interfaces." Some of the books are "Cognitive Systems Engineering for User-Computer Interface Design, Prototyping, and Evaluation," by Stephen Andriole and Leonard Adelman; "Symbiosis of Work and Technology," edited by Jos Benders, Jobde Haan and David Bennett; "Data Envelopment Analysis: Theory, Methodology and Applications," edited by Abraham Charnes, William Cooper, Arie Y. Lewin and Lawrence M. Seiford; "Learning Organizations: Developing Cultures for Tomorrow's Workplace," edited by Sarita Chawla and John Renesch; and "Techniques for Business Process Redesign: Tying It All Together," by Lynn C. Kubeck.
MARKETING, COMMERCIAL products, RAPID prototyping, NEW product development, PRODUCT management, and INDUSTRIAL research
For a major manufacturer of heating and cooling systems for large buildings, under increasing pressure to produce new product components, I developed a marketing-decision-support model of its process for selecting and developing new products that was comprehensive, objective, and dynamic. This approach is particularly suited for firms that feel the timing (introduction date) of new products significantly affects their sales potential. The firm has relied on this model and its expansions for over 25 years. Marketing-decision-support systems generally utilize a technical structure for dealing with a complex real-world problem. The technical structure is generally provided by a skilled modeler, the reality by experienced line managers dealing with the problem area. This interaction is a critical element in determining the success of real-world marketing-decision-support projects. The modeler must make sure the line managers feel intellectual ownership of the support system. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]
ELECTRONIC spreadsheets, QUEUING theory, COMPUTER software, BUSINESS schools, RAPID prototyping, COMPUTER simulation, and STUDENTS
Process-driven spreadsheet queuing simulation is a better vehicle for understanding queue behavior than queuing theory or dedicated simulation software. Spreadsheet queuing simulation has many pedagogical benefits in a business school end-user modeling course, including developing students' intuition, giving them experience with active modeling skills, and providing access to tools. Spreadsheet queuing simulations are surprisingly easy to program, even for queues with balking and reneging. The ease of prototyping in spreadsheets invites thoughtless design, so careful spreadsheet programming practice is important. Spreadsheet queuing simulation is inferior to dedicated simulation software for analyzing queues but is more likely to be available to managers and students. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]
HOSPITALITY industry research, OPERATIONS research, MATHEMATICAL optimization, and INVENTORY control
Under changing market conditions for the hospitality industry, the Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group (CRHG) collaborated with JDA Software Group to use operations research to drive higher revenue for its hoteliers and to stay ahead of the competition. This highly innovative revenue optimization project, Stay Night Automated Pricing (SNAP), started with enterprise demand forecasting across 600 US hotels in 2007. It was followed by a large-scale network optimization solution to dynamically optimize hotel room rates based on price elasticity of demand, competitor rates, availability of remaining inventory, demand forecasts, and business rules. All North American hotels were operational in SNAP by March 2011. Starting from the optimization prototyping results in 2008, CRHG consistently measured a 2-4 percent revenue improvement in compliant hotels over noncompliant ones. To date, compliant hotels have increased revenue by more than $16 million annually. After a successful deployment in the Americas, CRHG extended the partnership with JDA to globally roll out SNAP, with an initial focus on Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and the Asia Pacific region. CRHG anticipates that the worldwide incremental revenue from this solution will exceed $30 million annually. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]
The Hydro-Thermal Optimization (HTO) system optimizes the weekly electric production schedules of Pacific Gas and Electric Company's diverse resource mix. PG&E developed HTO to reduce operating costs, forecast marginal costs, and position itself for competition. PG&E implemented the system after extensive prototyping and validation and uses HTO daily for unit commitment, hydro scheduling, energy trading, fuel forecasting, resource evaluation, and marginal cost-based pricing. PG&E estimates annual benefits of HTO conservatively at $15 million. On a broader scale, PG&E has used HTO to analyze auction protocols for a deregulated power market and demonstrated that use of HTO-like tools to administer a power auction, as is done in the UK, could result in profit distribution inequities among bidders. HTO thus enabled PG&E to support a profound change in California's restructuring of the electric industry, from the proposed UK-type pool to a decentralized decision-making framework in which bidders optimize their own operations. As a result, California's $20 billion electric-power market will realize increased efficiencies and savings for both taxpayers and consumers. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]
OPERATIONS research, MANAGEMENT science, DECISION support systems, HEURISTIC, MATERIALS management, and BUSINESS logistics
This article focuses on the recognition crisis for the field of management science (MS) and operation research (OR). According to Arthur Geoffrion, newer decision aids for the manager, such as material requirements planning, social systems analysis and policy science, end-user computing, and decision support systems, are competing with and apparently eclipsing MS/OR. He urges MS/OR to keep up with these challenges and, in particular, to respond to the threat of end-user computing by exploiting the computing power of microcomputers for MS/OR work and by going after the potential market that exists among spreadsheet users. Critics of OR claim that it has proved to be useless. However, it is not the reality. MS/OR offers quantitative solutions to operational or organizational problems. The application areas are in most of the areas of economic, technical, and political activity. An OR study is usually an interdisciplinary effort, involving a team of OR analysts and experts from the problem area. The benefits of the study typically reach the beneficiary indirectly as part of somebody else's product and therefore, OR has to share the billing and credit, or blame, with others. If MS/OR is to prosper outside of the academy, people must promote a broad view of MS/OR, including prototyping, heuristics, modeling, and payoff.
INDUSTRIAL management, PRODUCTION engineering, NEW product development, MANUFACTURING processes, MANUFACTURES, and RAPID prototyping
Accelerating competitive pressures are placing increasing burdens upon business management, particularly in manufacturing enterprises. The typical Western response has been to develop some major new product or process technology. The Japanese responded to the same situation by focusing on organizational structure and processes. While both approaches have merit, the organization resulting from the Japanese approach appears better able to cope with today's environmental dynamics. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]