Business Optimization: Upgrade Your Company’s Engine In A New Way

Any company worth its salt should be focusing on increasing its efficiency. The ways of doing that are numerous. But their value and applicability sometimes leave much to be desired. However, the ability to use current assets with better output and optimize the resources, both intellectual and material, is the new fuel for your business.

But business optimization does not mean you simply buy and install new software or modern machinery? Surely that gives a boost to the company’s productivity? Yes, but, in the long run, it doesn’t automatically lead to winning the competition. Business optimization has its roots in a company’s internal improvement processes. 

It is pointless to invest money into new technologies, business techniques or highly-skilled specialists if existing business processes are ineffective and exceedingly resource-consuming. That’s why it is more effective to unveil the potential that is already there and utilize it, rather than spend a lot of money, effort and time on total company reorganization and re-equipment. 

Optimization of resources is a perfect solution for those who put their bets on strategic victory instead of tactical advantage. FICO Xpress Optimization is a perfect solution for your business if you are focused on reaching high efficiency by introducing highly effective business processes. 

Contributed to our Blog byVP, Business developmentSergei Artimenia


FICO Xpress Optimization. Fine tune business mechanisms smartly

FICO Xpress Optimization solution is one of the company’s earliest products. The first version of the program appeared in 1983. But since then it has changed dramatically. It has become more sophisticated, agile and supports different types of data. 

It has grown from a linear programming solver to the complicated solution with in-built standard capabilities that include scalable high-performance solvers and algorithms, flexible modeling environment, comparative scenario analysis, reporting capabilities and rapid application development for both on-premises and cloud versions of the solution.

Structurally, FICO Xpress Optimization consists of four modules. 

  • FICO Xpress Insight effectively creates powerful applications out of optimization models. There is no need for additional development efforts. Xpress Insight adaptive user interface automatically represents model contents in business terms, ready for data exploration and “what if” analysis.
  • FICO Xpress Executor is a module that executes optimization services based on Xpress Mosel – a powerful programming language. In addition to Mosel models, Xpress Executor can solve problems in lots of other industry-standard formats. 
  • FICO Xpress Solver is aimed at solving complicated large-scale linear and mixed-integer problems as well as non-linear problems using FICO’s versatile and powerful algorithms.
  • FICO Xpress Workbench is an ACE-based Integrated Development Environment (IDE). Its function is developing optimization models, services, and complete solutions in a web environment. 

Combined, the components of FICO Xpress Optimization help businesses solve the highly complex problems rapidly increasing the business value of problematic processes. Xpress Optimization’s great speed and scalability allow business users to uncover better decisions for complex problems in minutes. 


Why mathematical optimization? How to extract quality out of quantity

According to Britannica, “optimization, also known as mathematical programming, collection of mathematical principles and methods used for solving quantitative problems in many disciplines, including physics, biology, engineering, economics, and business.”

Mathematical optimization is a powerful prescriptive analytics technology that allows businesses to use resources and data more effectively, solve complicated tasks, make precise business predictions and ease the decision-making process. 

Mathematical programming deals with the quantitative problems of maximizing or minimizing an objective function by finding the best available values across a set of inputs. Computing power development has greatly expanded the size and complexity of optimization problems that can be solved. 

The development of optimization techniques has delivered advances not only in computer science but in operations research, numerical analysis, game theory, mathematical economics, control theory, and combinatorics as well. 

At FICO, specialists consider optimization as the mathematical process of finding the best decision (usually highest profit, or lowest cost) for a given business problem within a defined set of constraints.


Business process optimization: overhaul without overclock

Optimization in the business sphere has got a far more application-oriented nature. Before we try to go deeper into the topic, let’s find out what business optimization is

Business optimization is the process of identifying and implementing new methods that make a business more efficient and cost-effective. In other words, success is a result of constant business processes improvement. 

First of all, executive management should bear in mind that not all processes need improvement. And, after thorough analysis, selected inefficient processes need to be further ranked according to their impact on business. There are three main criteria for building a business process optimization priority line. 

  1. The importance is defined by the influence of the process on the company’s  main goals. 
  2. Optimization necessity is measured by the difference between current and optimized business process state. The larger the difference, the more the process needs optimization. 
  3. Optimization implementation opportunities. Optimization of a business process reaches its full potential when minimal costs are needed. 

When the business process priority line is clear, the definite algorithm of optimization is used. Each step of it is vital as well as is the order in which they are carried out.


Business process optimization stages. Oil your business engine correctly

Successful business process optimization is fully dependent on a certain sequence of actions. The order is as important as essence. Correct execution of the algorithm grants excellent results and moves a business toward its main goals. 

  1. Identification. Pick a problematic process you want to optimize. Define the purpose and goals. In most cases, processes that are important for the company and are profit-drivers are chosen. What’s the point of business process optimization if it doesn’t have any impact?
  2. Business process mapping. Unless the process is mapped out, it is problematic to find potential improvements. To draw a business process map, if you haven’t got one, you can do so by creating a flowchart using pen & paper, or using workflow software.
  3. Business process analysis. This stage should give answers to the following questions. Does the process meet the desired goals? Is there excess wastage that you need to cut down on? Before starting business process improvement, each and every step should be thoroughly analyzed. The analysis itself can either be super straightforward, with some glaringly obvious potential changes or a bit more difficult, if the problem is not too obvious. In the latter case, you can use some of the business process improvement tools to find the inefficiencies. 
  4. Process improvement or restructuring. In the course of analysis wasteful, redundant, inefficient or improvable steps are identified. Once the processes or steps that fall into these categories are found, they should undergo efficiency improvement procedures. This can be done by restructuring the process (change the steps or order or steps), eliminating useless processes (or steps), or by doing a little bit of both.
  5. Implementation and automation. Once you get rid of unnecessary elements, automate the revised process in its new form. Business Process Automation (BPA) can help remove any menial labor from your employee’s workloads, which leads to higher productivity and morale. And all you have to do is find the right tool or software.
  6. Monitoring. Take a micro and macro look at process performance and fine-tune it until you get desired results. 

It’s not an exaggeration to say that going through all these steps is a tough challenge for executive management. But, FICO Xpress Optimization makes the business optimization process easier and more automated leading your business to high productivity and effectiveness.


Conclusion

Even if you think that everything works perfectly, it doesn’t mean that improvement is redundant. An inquiring, critical approach to examining business processes within your organization will give you new ideas for improvement and optimization. To succeed, smart and effective optimization software solutions is your winning ticket. 

But be sure to look for a reliable software when optimizing the processes of your company. The results are only going to be worth it if the process performs satisfactorily. FICO software solutions have already proved their efficiency and reliability. 

FICO Xpress Optimization makes business process optimization as effective as possible. Its powerful problem-solving engine will help your business take the lead against the competition.

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