Use Analytic Solver Optimization to allocate resources such as money, people and time, with the full range of solving methods
Optimization helps you find the best way to allocate resources: money, staff time, raw materials or inventory, energy, warehouse space, and more. In each case, multiple decisions must be made in the best possible way while simultaneously satisfying a number of constraints. The "best" or optimal solution might mean maximizing profits, minimizing costs, or achieving the best possible quality. Below are some examples.
Classic Solver Tutorial using a Product Mix problem (multiple pages, step by step)
Modern Optimization Tutorial using a Call Center Scheduling problem (one page)
Finance and Investment
- Working capital management decides how much cash to allocate to accounts receivable or inventory across multiple time periods.
- Capital budgeting decides how much money to invest in projects that initially consume cash but later generate cash.
- Portfolio optimization -- creating "efficient portfolios" -- decides how much money to invest in stocks or bonds.
- Job shop scheduling decides how to best assign work to different types of production equipment.
- Blending (of petroleum products, ores, animal feed, etc.) decides how to combine raw materials of different types and grades.
- Cutting stock (for lumber, paper, etc.) decides how to cut large sheets or timbers into smaller pieces, to minimize waste.
Distribution and Networks
- Routing (of goods, natural gas, electricity, etc.) decides which paths items should move through to arrive at desired destinations.
- Loading (of trucks, rail cars, etc.) decides how packages of different sizes can best use vehicle space.
- Scheduling of workers, vehicles or meeting rooms decides how these resources should be allocated to various tasks.