Do More With Less
JeanFrancoisPuget 2700028FGP Visits (2603)
Most past use of Operations Research (OR) were about lowering cost, or other resource usage metrics. We now see more and more use of OR to generate more revenue, see for instance this example There is also a middle ground, where OR is used to achieve more while using less resources. In short, OR is used to do more with less.
A great example is described in this video, by a very enthusiastic user of analytics and optimization. Facing an aging infrastructure and numerous customer complaints, the District of Columbia Water and Sewer Authority (DC Water) needed to improve asset reliability and lifespan, and streamline its business processes. The more part included: 36 percent reduction in customer calls through increased preventive maintenance and implementation of automated meter readings; Increased percentage of emergency investigations dispatched within 10 minutes from 49 percent to 93 percent; Ability to generate reports for regulatory compliance and management review in seconds versus days; Significant reduction in asset downtime.
This solutions draws on a lot of technologies, including predictive analytics (SPSS), and mathematical optimization (ILOG CPLEX). Predictive analytics is used to compute when a pipe is likely to break. This generates due dates for repair visits. Optimization is then used to schedule these repair visits. Moreover, it groups visits so that they can be done in a single trip, by minimizing travel distance.
Interested readers can learn more here