Although the economy is still in a difficult situation and I don’t dare to predict or forecast how it’ll be for 2013, I already know that for me, as an OR-er will be a promising year. During these years I have been nurturing leads and building my reputation and skills: that’s called investment; I hope 2013 will be the year when a return will be seen.
I don’t know if you are aware, but last October I moved to London, where I’m lecturing Economics in a sessional basis at GSM London. At the same time, I’m trying to feed a new company, Business Research & Applications, devoted to the application of OR to the small businesses; at the moment I’m focused in the mobile app development. Further, I’m engaging in a very entertaining project related to social media strategy (I’ll talk to you in the following months about it).
And, of course, I can’t forget my Spanish work-in-progress with SocialMediaBlog.es about Social Media ROI, with K|P|K and Econcult about Impactrimonio, and my PhD thesis about the economic value of culture.
So, don’t you think 2013 seems promising?
A lot of researchers and practitioners make good use of Operational Research (OR) in order to optimise, solve problems and real life issues, and help make better decisions. However, I have been concerned about the scale of the projects that are being publicised; maybe it is that only the big guys problems or the massive OR deployments are the ones that get to be known. Or maybe, as OR-ers we are losing the big opportunity to use our knowledge for the good of the small and medium businesses (SMBs).
Taking this into account, from Matter of BIZ I have started to develop small software apps that bring ‘old models’ to the mobile phones of SMBs owners and managers. Take for instance, our first two apps:
- Simple Z-Score Calculator; an implementation of Altman’s Z-score index to help estimate business default.
- Simple EOQ Calculator; it calculates the optimal order size either when demand is certain (EOQ model) or uncertain (Newsvendor model).
As you see, last century models; ‘oldies but goldies’, models that are taught at introductory OR and management courses alike, but that, as far as I know, SMBs do not use even when they could obtain better efficiencies. So, what do you think? Is scaling down OR a real opportunity? Is this the best way to promote OR within small businesses?