Innovative O.R.: Intel Wins INFORMS Prize
While the Edelman Award (see page 32) from the Institute of Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS) each year honors an outstanding example of analytics and operations research in practice, the INFORMS Prize salutes organizations for “sustained integration of operations research.” The INFORMS Prize Committee looks for a variety of applications of O.R. in a single organization that provides the organization with a competitive advantage through high- impact work. The committee is particularly impressed with organizations that “repeatedly apply O.R. in pioneering, varied, novel and lasting ways.”
Rangananth Nuggehalli of UPS, the INFORMS Prize Committee Chair, presented the 2009 INFORMS Prize to Intel at the INFORMS Practice Conference in Phoenix earlier this year. Nuggehalli recognized Intel’s demonstrated record of using operations research throughout the company’s strategic, tactical and operational levels. “The Prize Committee’s task was challenging, and the quality of all the submissions we considered was high,” said Nuggehalli, adding that Intel showed
how companies could drive significant value and competitive advantage by utilizing O.R. throughout an organization.
For the past two decades, Intel’s decision technology group has worked behind the scenes to provide sound recommendations for designing factories, improving manufacturing, making accurate sales forecasts and prioritizing the features that should be introduced during new product development, he said.
“They have literally saved Intel billions of dollars,” Intel Chairman Craig Barrett told the gala crowd. Barrett was joined by Karl Kempf, who leads the Intel Decision Technology Group.
The award committee found that Intel had an impressive track record applying operations research methods throughout the many distinctive business areas of the company.
The 2009 INFORMS Prize Committee cited the Intel Decision Technologies Group for putting O.R. inside every facet of Intel’s business. “By employing an extensive array of operation research disciplines and an innovative process to diffuse them, the Decision Technologies Group impacted a vast and diverse set of Intel’s functions such as product design, demand forecasting, factory development, pricing structures, equipment and material acquisition and production/inventory/logistics planning,” the award citation continued. “From tactical manufacturing operations to strategic roadmap development, the myriad of operations research applications contributed more than $2 billion in improved decision-making. Intel demonstrated the effectiveness of O.R. techniques by continuing to produce better products at lower prices year after year.”