GAMS staff Michael Bussieck and Robin Schuchmann attended the meeting Mathematical Optimization for the Hidden Champions of the GOR working group Real World Optimization at the Chamber of Industry and Commerce (IHK) in Pforzheim, Germany. The focus of the 2-day event was on optimization-based analysis and decision making, especially from the perspective of small businesses in the manufacturing industry.
A series of presentations from participants including Michael’s and Robin’s presentation Algebraic Modeling Tools for Small Businesses - Challenges and Outlook were complemented by a panel discussion. Two very different paths to face the challenge of promoting mathematical optimization in small businesses were discussed: generic software solutions for typical OR problems in the manufacturing business versus customer- and problem-specific solutions. On the one hand, dealing with specialized software is time-consuming and therefore incompatible with rapid business growth. Only by offering standard software, which only has to be adapted slightly for customers, larger steps are possible. On the other hand, small businesses success depends on a high degree of specialization. This uniqueness is the key to the company’s success and must therefore be protected. The use of optimization software should not lead to the company adapting to the software, but the other way around. There was general agreement that the methodology mathematical optimization is already difficult to promote in the market. Efforts must be made to reach those who have not previously dealt with this topic.
Another aspect discussed extensively at the conference was the increasingly important field of data visualization. On part of the GAMS presentation was about our interactive web application framework GAMS MIRO, which was well received.
The social program of the well-organized conference included a conference dinner and tour of the G.Rau company which specializes in the manufacturing of strips, tubes and wires made of precious metals, special alloys and composite materials. As the conference took place in Pforzheim, also known as the Golden City due to its jewelry and watch-making industry, a fitting mode of transportation was provided: the Goldliner, a bus completely plated with gold.
All in all, a very productive and informative event. We are looking forward to the next GOR Real World Optimization working group meeting!
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