Annexes A1 to A6

IFORS CONFERENCE, Melbourne, July 11-15th, 2011 OR PRACTICE STREAM

Overall Results of the OR Practice Survey John Ranyard, Management School, Lancaster University, UK
Abstract: IFORS have commissioned a survey of OR practice in member countries, so as to gain a better understanding of the usage of quantitative tools, techniques and approaches and their impact on decision-making in organisations, as well as the background of the OR analysts involved. It is expected that the results will enable IFORS to improve their support to and promotion of OR in member countries. Over 250 practitioners from 28 member countries completed a comprehensive on-line questionnaire and some overall results will be presented.

Keywords: OR Practice; Survey

Some Key UK Results from the OR Practice Survey
John Ranyard, Management School, Lancaster University, UK

Abstract: Over 80 responses to the IFORS survey were received from UK practitioners. Some key results will be presented, covering the location of OR services, techniques, methodologies and software used, barriers to the use of OR and personal education and training received. Changes compared to a similar survey which was carried out 15 years ago will be highlighted. Some comments on current issues facing OR practitioners in the UK will be made.

Keywords: OR practice; survey; problem structuring methods

OR Practice in North America
Karla Hoffman, Department of Systems Engineering and Operations Research George Mason University, USA

Abstract: We present results from a survey on OR practice that was distributed to a few of the practice subdivisions within INFORMS. We also describe the recent activities related to the new theme of "analytic" that has made the sale of OR activities much easier and understandable to a wider business community.

Keywords: OR Practice; Profession of OR


OR Practice in The Philippines
Elise del Rosario, One Small Step Forward Foundation, Inc., The Philippines (Immediate Past President, IFORS)

Abstract: OR practice has a definite presence in the Philippines but it is not widespread in the business community, with Internal OR consultants in less than 10 companies. Size of group, experience and training of analysts, barriers to the use of OR, OR techniques and software used will be given. Companies without in-house OR relegate quantitative analysis to engineering, corporate planning and management services departments. External consulting firms do not ordinarily use OR methodologies, whereas academic consultants do. OR applications cover long-range to operational decisions, in the areas of logistics, facilities, manpower, service operations planning, risk management and marketing. The most used tool reported is spreadsheet modelling. The Philippine OR community is tightly knit and practitioners, from a diversity of industries, are members of the national OR society, which aims to link academe with practice. Whilst some OR groups have disbanded, others have formed, and so the size of the OR community has stayed around the same level.

Keywords: OR Practice; Developing Countries

OR Practice in Australia and New Zealand
Simon Dunstall, Mathematics, Informatics and Statistics, CSIRO, Australia, Baikunth Nath, University of Melbourne, Australia, David Ryan, Engineering Science, University of Auckland, New Zealand

Abstract: The survey findings for the two countries will be summarised and key features of OR practice will be described. Several organisations in both countries have strong OR teams, some of which have received international acclaim e.g. via the INFORMS Edelman competition. Some challenges facing the OR practice communities will be outlined.

Keywords: OR Practice

OR Practice in South Africa
Hans Ittmann, CSIR, South Africa
IFORS commissioned a survey of OR practice in member countries. A number of OR practitioners in South Africa also responded. In this talk the results from the survey will be presented. In addition further background will be given to the practice and use of OR in the country as well as where the major challenges lie. The OR society in South Africa organises an annual conference and publishes it own journal bi-annually. Information from these sources will be used to supplement the results from the IFORS survey.

Keywords: OR Practice

General Discussion: Possible Issues

1. How can IFORS promote OR practice?
2. What is the role of country OR Societies in promoting OR practice?
3. What definition of OR should be used?
4. How is OR practice organised? In-house eg project based in OR groups or integrated into functional management teams eg logistics; or via external consultants?
5. How can OR practitioners be identified

Dr. John C. Ranyard

John Ranyard

John Ranyard is a Senior Research Fellow at the Management Science Department at Lancaster University and previously an OR manager in British Coal. You may reach him at


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