MIGHT BE USEFUL IN PRODUCTION : Operations research (OR) is a management function that draws extensively from the divisions of mathematics and science. It makes use of algorithms, statistics and numerous modeling techniques from mathematics to find the best possible solutions for complex problems. In OR, the maxima has to be optimized and the minima has to be reduced for all the objects involved. Maxima are usually the yield, performance and profit and minima are the losses and risks. There are many reasons to use OR. Business Operations 1.
OR could be very effective in handling issues of inventory planning and scheduling, production planning, transportation, financial and revenue management and risk management. Basically, OR could be used in any situation where improvements in the productivity of the business are of paramount importance. Control 2. With OR, organizations are greatly relieved from the burden of supervision of all the routine and mundane tasks. The problem areas are identified analytically and quantitatively. Tasks such as scheduling and replenishment of inventories benefit immensely from OR. Decision Making . OR is used for analyzing problems of decision making in a superior fashion. The organization can decide on factors such as sequencing of jobs, production scheduling and replacements. Also the organization can take a call on whether or not to introduce new products or open new factories on the basis of a good OR plan. Coordination 4. Various departments in the organization can be coordinated well with suitable OR. This facilitates smooth functioning for the entire organization. Systems 5. With OR, any organization follows a systematic approach for the conduct of its business.
OR essentially emphasizes the use of computers in decision making; hence the chances of errors are minimum. Read more: Importance of Operations Research | eHow. com http://www. ehow. com/about_5369809_importance-operations-research. html#ixzz0weVjvJql Role of research in micro finance: This paper is not being presented at the Rural Finance conference but it is a very useful introduction to the issues being considered. Researchers and development organisations have an uneasy relationship in the field of microfinance.
The criticism aimed at research by the people who strive to promote microfinance (practitioners, support staff, decision-makers, donor agencies, etc. ) is both commonplace and severe. Research in this area is said to be too slow, too expensive, disconnected from operational realities, incomprehensible in the way it presents its results, etc. The intention of this article is to try to re-establish dialogue between these two functions that play an essential role in developing the innovative approach that is known as microfinance.
The article sets out to clarify: 1) the different forms of research with regard to microfinance and their various objectives; 2) the issues for discussion between researchers and practitioners; 3) the contribution of research to microfinance. The authors’ note that there is no single form of research. • Basic research is the production and organisation of knowledge around a theoretical corpus. In order to achieve this aim it has to produce general explanatory models, evaluation rules that may be universally applied and it must also focus on abstraction and simplification. Basic research is carried out mainly in universities. Academic research highlights the institutional background of the “researchers” (academics, scientists for whom research activity is their prime function) and it normally stands in opposition to the forms of research carried out by practitioners. This form of research obeys the criteria of basic research, but may also integrate some elements of so-called applied research. • Applied research presents a contextual and operational vision: its aim is to describe and to analyse particular situations and to infer operational results from this analysis for the various stakeholders in the sector (practitioners and decision-makers).
This form of research may also go as far as the formulation of recommendations. It has a practical objective and may be undertaken by universities, research institutes or practitioners. • Action research appears to be a component part of applied research. It has the dual objective of producing scientific know-how and knowledge that is useful for undertaking action, through a process of diagnosis, elaboration of innovation or experimentation. It is carried out by the very people who perform the action themselves or by researchers who are closely involved in the actions that are being studied.
The authors go on to examine the argument that often arises between basic or academic research and applied or action research, characterised by such statements as “only applied research is useful, basic research is a luxury we could do without” or, from the opposite point of view, “only basic research produces “real” scientific knowledge”. They suggest that there should be no opposition between these two types of research, rather there should be close complementarity. “Whilst applied research would appear to be more useful in the short-term, there can be no applied research without long-term basic research. Among the difficulties encountered in the dialogue between researchers and practitioners are differing time frames, demands for confidentiality by research sponsors, limited research funds and the influence of donor agencies, and the lack of encouragement for academic researchers to conduct field work and create relationships with practitioners. With regard to microfinance the authors conclude that research on the financial sector in general and on microfinance in particular, has contributed to the revisiting of theoretical approaches, to the production of knowledge regarding the processes of economic and social hange within a neo-liberal context, and the review of forms of public and private involvement in the area of funding. They provide a number of examples to illustrate this and show both the potential and limits of research. The article concludes that the researcher’s role is multifaceted. It involves developing new theoretical approaches and proposing interpretations and analyses that are likely to guide action and to facilitate the decision-making process; it also involves being attentive to economic and social practices that are innovative and herald social changes.
Finally, it involves fuelling the public debate or playing the role of intermediary between the various groups of actors. Researchers need the support of practitioners in order to be in a position to fully play their role. In the absence of their own resources or even resources that have been pooled by practitioners in order to encourage researchers to work in the microfinance field (which is something that many of them could do since they may well be sympathisers from an intellectual point of view), then the microfinance actors have to lobby the public authorities in order to gain recognition of their training and research needs.
This could lead to the creation of “dedicated” positions for researchers and teaching staff (within universities or research institutes). Similarly, this could also help to create the conditions for the launch of specialised invitations to tender and the provision of specific support for this type of research. Without the support of the actors involved in microfinance, then any researchers who wish to invest their time and efforts in this field have little chance of having their needs taken into account.
Role of research in advertising: The research strategies discussed here are indicative of this great variety and represent some of the most common types of research. For convenience, they will be organized and discussed as research conducted before, during, and after the production of an advertisement. 1. Laying the Groundwork for Producing an Ad—Research Conducted before an Ad is Produced At this point the advertising agency takes over the research process while continually consulting and informing the client company.
The research conducted at this phase is likely to include some or all of the following: focus groups, demographic profiles of consumers, psychographic profiles of consumers, ethnographic studies, and input by persons working within the agency (account planners) whose job it is to represent consumers. Focus groups: A typical group might consist of six to ten consumers who are known to buy and use the product category (for example, beer, hair coloring, children’s toys) in which the agency is interested. The group will not consist of just any consumers but will be constructed on the basis of some common characteristics. . Assisting Production—Research during the Production of Ads During the production of a television commercial or a print ad, the art director, the music writer, the copywriter, or someone else in the Creative Department of an ad agency is likely to request help from the research department. The assistance requested is as variable as advertisements themselves, but all of it shares one common characteristic: research is needed to provide some specific information for the production of an advertisement.
Here are some examples of actual requests: • determining the bottle colors of competing brands in the category (needed by an art director) • locating images of John Wayne (for use in drawing a cowboy figure) • conducting a quick ethnographic study to find out what people do while waiting in a coin laundry (for a commercial to be set in a coin laundry) • determining who owns the rights to the song “Happy Birthday to You” (for a music director who wants to set different words to the tune) • researching the history of pasta (for a copywriter who wants to emphasize cultural traditions in a print ad) 3.
Assessment—Research after Ads Are Made Advertisers have two related goals for all their advertising messages. First, they want them to be convincing. Second, they want them to be remembered. An advertisement fails to do its work unless it persuades the consumer and the consumer remembers the message at purchase time. It sometimes happens that an advertisement will succeed at one of these while it fails to do the other. It makes no difference whether the consumer is persuaded by an ad unless she remembers the brand.
Nothing is more disappointing to an advertiser than to hear a consumer say, “I saw a commercial for jeans the other day—I don’t remember the brand—but it was really funny. ” In order to get a sense of how research tests the memorability and persuasiveness of commercials, take a few moments and answer the following questions without looking back. Their form and content is typical of the kinds of questions consumers are asked in post-exposure testing. 1. Did you watch any of the commercials above? 2. What were the commercials for? 3. Did you happen to see a commercial for a Ford SUV?
If so, tell me what you remember about it. 4. Kermit the Frog says, “I guess it is easy being green” in a commercial for which vehicle? 5. What does “I guess it is easy being green” mean? 6. Did you watch any other commercials in this chapter? 7. If so, what was being advertised? 8. Did you see a commercial in which the car turns into an animal? 9. If so, which brand of car was being advertised? 10. What does it mean in the commercial when you see the car turning into an animal? 11. Did you see a commercial with bobblehead dolls in it? Tell me about it. 12. Which brand of car was being advertised in the commercial? 3. Which brand of car advertised itself as “Unlike any other”? 14. Did you see a commercial involving car racing? Tell me about it. 15. Which brand of car was being advertised in the commercial about car racing? 16. Did you see a commercial in which these words were spoken: “This is our country. This is our truck”? 17. Which brand of truck was being advertised? 18. Which images of America do you recall in the advertisement for the truck? If you tried this exercise, then you have some sense of how unlikely it would be for a consumer to know the answer to all these questions.
Television viewing is often done while talking with others, making a phone call, or engaging in some other activity. In addition, many people do not watch commercials because they go out of the room, switch channels, or fast-forward through commercials in recorded programs. Post-exposure testing encompasses all these factors by attempting to discover just how much attention, if any, consumers paid to particular commercials. On the basis of these findings, the agency or client may decide to reedit, clarify, or fix problems they discover in the commercial.
High scores on recall and persuasion, of course, mean that a commercial attracts attention and is convincing and remembered. Conclusion Most people would be astounded to know how much research is conducted as well as how much research is not conducted in connection with advertising. On the plus side, market and advertising research is among the most detailed and comprehensive forms of research. Once the decision is made to research the culture of beer, consumer behavior before a shelf of shampoo brands, or consumer preferences about computer software, the time, energy, and money poured into the research is unparalleled elsewhere.
Most of these research findings are considered proprietary and thus are not shared beyond the few people in the advertising agency and client company who are deemed to have reason to see them. This “private sociology” of American society sometimes makes its way into business or advertising archives, but it is often not saved because it lacks contemporary relevance. On the minus side, it is not true that advertisers conduct detailed research on everything of possible relevance to their projects.
This assumption is frequently made by critics of advertising who frequently assert that “nothing is in an advertisement without a reason. ” The reality is that many factors are carefully researched but it is also the case that decisions are made by creative directors because “it seemed right. ” Advertising research is only conducted when there is a perceived need for it and when its cost is deemed necessary to the success of the campaign. Even then, the research is never systematic. Rather, it is always applied and directed toward answering specific questions relevant to the project at hand.