This part of the chapter describes the general purpose of the book and the types of problems that will be found in the following chapters.


A Waiting Line Example


This section of the chapter gives us an example of a simple mathematical model. It also described both descriptive and prescriptive (optimization) models.  The example given was concerning a 7-Eleven store that wanted to decrease the wait time of their customers.  This first model given was described as a queuing model.  The next part of the example expanded the simple descriptive model into an optimization model.


Modeling vs. Models


This section explained the difference between classic mathematical models, which were more rigid and could only be applied to specific types of problems, and modeling, which gives more general guidelines and techniques that can be modified to apply to different types of scenarios.


The Seven-Step Modeling Process


This section breaks-down the previous 7-Eleven queuing example.  It tells the reader the 7-steps that can be used in any modeling problem.


The 7 steps are:

1.     Define the problem.

2.     Observe and collect data.

3.     Formulate a model.

4.     Verify the model and use the model for prediction.

5.     Select a suitable alternative.

6.     Present the results of the study to the Organization.

7.     Implement and Evaluate recommendations.


Successful Management Science Applications


This section describes successful applications of some of the techniques described in this book.  The first example was the Citgo Petroleum problem to optimize refinery operations as well as describing the SDM system that Citgo created to help with its downstream refinery operations.


The next example illustrated how the 7-steps when used by the San Francisco Police Department helped revamp and improve their scheduling systems.


The GE Capital example used the 7-steps to create the PAYMENT system, which reduced delinquent accounts and the collection costs associated with them.




The following sections of the chapter explained the importance of Management Science, modeling and the analysis of data.  It also explained the different types of software included with the book and their various uses.


The Chapter concludes with a brief recap of what was introduced in Chapter 1: descriptive and prescriptive models, models vs. modeling, queuing and 7-Step model building