How to optimize your business decision-making

Product Marketing Manager, IBM

Decision-makers across many different industries are making complex decisions every day that involve optimizing trade-offs to make the right business choices. Factory managers have to find the best sequence for orders in a production line. Airlines need to optimize schedules for aircrafts and crews. Retailers need to optimize their distribution networks and inventory levels.

All of these situations involve decisions that are usually beyond the capabilities of spreadsheets or basic analytics applications.

Consider a simple example of the owner of a truck who wants to find the most efficient route by minimizing the distance travelled by the truck as it makes deliveries to 10 locations. The number of different ways in which these 10 locations can be visited is more than three million routes. For real-world companies with hundreds of trucks and thousands of locations, it is easy to see how relying on spreadsheets to identify the best possible course of action can lead to sub-optimal results.

Choosing the right tools and techniques to make such business decisions can make the difference between being an industry leader and a company lagging behind. Many companies use optimization techniques that provide capabilities to run complex optimization models and analyze what-if scenarios and factor in business rules and constraints.

IBM Decision Optimization is a family of prescriptive analytics products that combines mathematical and AI techniques to help address business decision-making such as operational, tactical/strategic planning and scheduling processes. IBM brings 30 years of experience in the field. We are a proven optimization technology provider.

IBM ILOG CPLEX Optimization Studio is one of the products within the IBM Decision Optimization portfolio.Clients are using IBM ILOG CPLEX Optimization Studio to drive operational efficiency and generate significant ROI by optimizing planning, scheduling, pricing and other business decisions. It provides users the flexibility to develop optimization models either using general programming language APIs like Python, and Java or using Optimization Programming Language (OPL). And it incorporates powerful optimization solvers, including CPLEX Optimizer and CP Optimizer engines to solve the breadth of optimization models and provide recommendations for best plans.

The latest version of IBM ILOG CPLEX Optimization Studio comes with significant performance improvements for MIP and MIQP problem as well as constraint programming and constraint-based scheduling.

IBM offers a community edition at no cost. It gives users the freedom to try IBM ILOG CPLEX Optimization Studio and run models with up to 1,000 variables and 1,000 constraints. Try the no-cost version here.

Considering a purchase? IBM has made it simpler for users to buy the IBM ILOG CPLEX Optimization Studio development edition on a month-to-month basis by introducing a new subscription option. You can subscribe for a monthly development license in a fully self-served manner. Users who have downloaded the Community edition can now purchase and unlock the monthly development entitlement without making a single phone call.

Take the product tour to explore IBM ILOG CPLEX Optimization Studio, or visit our marketplace page.