"To Hold, and When to Hold"

The following is a bit of a summary of an Operations Research (a.k.a.: Operations Management) course.
"To hold, and when to hold:  that is the question:
Whether 'tis nobler in Engineering to suffer
The slings and arrows of outright Marketing,
Or to take CAD/CAM against a sea of diversity,
And by automation design them?  To EOQ:  to JIT;
No more; and, by a JIT to say we end
The heart-ache and the thousand boxes held
That Shipping is heir to, 'tis an operation
Devoutly to be wish'd.  To EOQ, to JIT;
To JIT:  perchance to lotless:  ay, there's the rub;
For in that flow of jobs what products may come
When we have shuffled off this setup,
Must give us throughput.  There's the productivity
That makes profits of so long planning;
For who would bear the carrying costs through time, 
The Purchaser's paperwork, the Accountant's approval,
The stoppage of insufficient stock, the Vendor's delay,
The insolence of subordinates, and the spurns
That patient merit of the Director takes,
When s/he themself might their MRP make
With a bare spreadsheet?  who would orders bear,
To grunt and sweat under an overtime knife,
But that the dread of foreign competition,
The unexploit'd country from whose bourn
No competitor exceeds, puzzles the deficits, 
And makes us rather bear those unemployed we have
And pay to others that we know not language?
Thus shortage does make cowards of managers all;
And thus the blackest hue of corporation
Is sicklied o'er with the pale cast of profit,
And enterprises of great size and assets
With this regard their strategy turn away,
And lose the name of Fortune 500.  Soft you now!  
Next quarter profits!  Nympholept, in thy expectations
Be all thy dispositions remember'd."


Your comments, suggestions, questions, or concerns would be very much appreciated. Please direct them to: vschmid@telus.net.

Copyright ©1995, 1996 Vernon R.J. Schmid. All rights reserved.
Last Updated: 2005-01-25.

The above is a parody of William Shakespeare's "To be or not to be..." soliloquy in Hamlet, but from the perspective of operations research. If you want to understand more about EOQ (economic order quantity), JIT (just-in-time), downsizing, and/or MRP (manufacturing resource planning), ask an MBA... unless he happens to be in the Oval Office....