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Note on Linear Programming:
A Brief Overview
Product Type: Conceptual Note  Publication Date: 11/2012  Product ID#: 1-429-307  Length: 4pages

Core Disciplines: How-to Materials; Operations Management/Supply Chain

TEACHING NOTE: None

DESCRIPTION: In some situations, the available resources are adequate to carry out the alternative operating plan selected. In others, however, this is not true. For example, a machine has only a certain amount of capacity. If that capacity is entirely used by one product, it cannot be used for another. Similarly, a factory building has room for only so many machines. In these situations, there are constraints on the uses of resources. Linear programming is a model for solving problems that involve several constraints. In it, a series of linear mathematical relationships is developed. The first, called the objective function, is the quantity to be optimized. This is usually a formula for differential costs, which the model will minimize, or one for differential income, which is to be maximized. The other statements express the constraints of the situation.

TEACHING POINTS: 

  • Use linear programming to determine constraints.
  • Identify areas of highest contribution.
  • Calculate a shadow price for each constrained resource.

Secondary Tags: Customer Relationship Management
Sales Rank: #451


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