Management Science (MS) can be loosely defined as a grab bag of advanced analytic techniques whose applications can increase profits by optimizing the cost efficiency of select business operations. Techniques such as Network Analysis, Non-linear Programming, Project Management, Monte Carlo Simulation, Decision Analysis, Stochastic Modeling, and Genetic Algorithms are routinely utilized by Fortune 500 corporations to ensure that the operating decisions they make return optimal profits. Yet there is nothing inherently “mega-corporate“ about these techniques. The (MS) techniques that a multi-billion dollar corporation like General Electric uses to optimize their decision making processes are the exact same ones that can be employed to optimize the assembly line at a million dollar corporation like ACME Coat Hangers LLC.
Simply put, applying (MS) techniques assures the small business owner that he is taking the most profitable course of action possible when confronted with a critical business decision, whether that decision is as straight forward as deciding the most profitable way to manufacture a bookcase, or something as esoteric as simulating an entire factory in cyber-space to determine its optimal production capacity configuration before spending a dime on its construction.