This case attempts to highlight a very common resource allocation dilemma in a real-life scenario. The majority of today’s problems are solved by the methodology of trial and error. This case shows how a generic trial-and-error solution, if buttressed by a proper quantitative methodology, can have substantial impact on the bottom-line of an organization. The case concentrates on three disparate focus areas in a didactic fashion, namely, the ability to retrieve raw data and convert it into a utilizable form if a quantitative method is to be applied; the ability to comprehend the resource constraints of a typical real-life situation; and the skill required to develop and solve an optimization problem in Excel Solver, a product which can easily be accessed by any practitioner.
Expected learning outcomes
Expected learning outcomes are as follows: students learn to formulate a Mixed-Integer programming model; to interpret optimal solutions and appreciate the application of “Optimization”; to recommend a resource allocation strategy; and to understand the importance of cost minimization in organizations.
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CSS: 9: Operations and Logistics
The authors wish to thank the Indian Institute of Management Indore for providing us with all infrastructural and academic resources to pursue business research in the domain of operations management.
Disclaimer. This case is written solely for educational purposes and is not intended to represent successful or unsuccessful managerial decision-making. The authors may have disguised names; financial and other recognizable information to protect confidentiality.
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