Chapter S14. Operational Decision-Making Tools: Linear Programming

In this supplement, you will learn about . . .

• Linear programming: a model consisting of linear relationships representing a firm's objective and resource constraints.

  • Model Formulation

  • Graphical Solution Method

  • Linear Programming Model Solution

  • Solving Linear Programming Problems with Excel

  • Sensitivity Analysis

One of the quantitative techniques used in Chapter 14 for operations planning and in Chapter 17 for scheduling is linear programming. Linear programming is one of the most widely used and powerful quantitative tools in operations management. It can be applied to a wide variety of different operational problems. Some of the more popular model types and their specific OM applications are described in Table S14.1.

Linear programming is a mathematical modeling technique used to determine a level of operational activity in order to achieve an objective, subject to restrictions called constraints. Many decisions faced by an operations manager are centered around the best way to achieve the objectives of the firm subject to the constraints of the operating environment. These constraints can be limited resources, such as time, labor, energy, materials, or money, or they can be restrictive guidelines, such as a recipe for making cereal, engineering specifications, or a blend for gasoline. The most frequent objective of business firms is to maximize profit—whereas the objective of individual operational units within a firm ...

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