Showing posts from March, 2010

BUS 350 Billionaire's Challenge

Today in Operations Management we had our "Billionaire's Challenge." Each semester we do a production case study involving Excel's Solver "add in." Students must first solve the case, earn at least one-million dollars profit, and then may compete to make at least $1,000,000,000.

This semester's Billionaires are:

Kevin Kolb
BreAnna Nuñez
Zach Pusti
Jordan Tucker


For more information on this exercise, refer to my earlier post.

Microsoft Office 2010 Beta Download

The Microsoft Office 2010 Beta can be downloaded for free. I have been using it for a few days now and while it doesn't look dramatically different--it will be worth getting when it is released later (June) this year. And the "File" menu is back! My only advice when you install it is that you don't "upgrade" but instead keep your existing Office 2007 software installed. Get it here.

A Normalization Example for Access

I see it all too often. Many companies keep track of information in Excel spreadsheets when Access would be more effective, simply because “it is easier to use Excel” or they “don’t know Access.” Unfortunately, keeping a list of things in Excel can over time, result in redundant information, errors, and endless headaches. If only end users would invest a little time in learning something about databases they could develop a much better solution.

Basically the problem comes from “data redundancy.” In the Excel spreadsheet below, we can see that the entries under PROJ_NAME repeat as do the employee names (EMP_NUMBER, EMP_NAME). Secondly, the fields JOB_CLASS and CHG_HOUR repeat as employees are assigned to different projects (click to enlarge):

What are some potential problems with this spreadsheet? In addition to a great deal of unnecessary data entry, anything that is entered more than once opens the possibility for a mistake. For example, the JOB_CLASS “Programmer” has an hourly…

EOQ Calculations in Excel

Last week in Operations Management we used Excel to calculate the Economic Order Quantity and graph Carrying Costs, Ordering Costs, and Total Costs.

The Economic Order Quantity or "EOQ" is the order size that
"minimizes" Total Costs. Any more or less and you are spending too much on ordering or too much on keeping inventory.

For example, in the Excel spreadsheet below, if you had an Annual Demand of 12000 units, Ordering Costs of $10 per order, and Holding costs of $4 per unit per year, the EOQ would be 245 units and Total Costs would be $980.00:

We used the following formula in Excel to calculate EOQ: =SQRT((2*B2*B3)/B4)

And the following formula to calculate Total Costs at this point: =$B$6/2*$B$4+$B$2/B6*$B$3

To create the graph, we used the following formulas and simply copied them over a range of 100 to 500 units.

Ordering Costs: =$B$2/D2*$B$3

Holding Costs: =D2/2*$B$4

Total Costs: =F2+G2

Looking at this chart, we can clearly see that our order size of 245 is indeed &q…