What are examples of industries or applications, which would greatly benefit from using OR, but it is not standard or common to use these technologies there?
I feel like you should ask the question other way round: "Which industries are not employing substantial use of OR technologies to optimize their operations?". That would be much easier to answer.
Having spent the last 3 years of actively using OR and optimization technologies in my career at a huge multinational Oil and Gas company, I can't emphasize it enough how much are typical day to day operations missing out on value savings just by not fully operating in an optimized manner. This occurs at every scale of operations management i.e. right from planning to execution. I sometimes feel like companies and managers (luckily not mine!) are somehow not fully aware or appreciative of huge potential that OR offers for driving optimal operations. If you compare it with the investments in ML and AI in the industries (largely because of their current popularity), we only get peanuts. But I hope things might change in the future as more and more people begin to see that very goal of OR is directly at providing value to the business.
With that all said, there are a few industries that I can name where I see OR being their main game: supply chain industry, transportation industry, aviation industry.
Small businesses are often so small that the investment of modeling business processes is not worth it, however an extraordinary amount of money is left on the table when you consider the impact of the small put together. The lack of optimization is often picked up by more hours put in by the owner.
1$\begingroup$ can you give examples? $\endgroup$ Jul 30, 2021 at 16:55
1$\begingroup$ @user3680510, could you imagine how much time is needed by hand to enumerate all of the possible combinations of assigning a few tasks on just two machines in an optimal sense for a simple scheduling problem!!? $\endgroup$– A.OmidiAug 24, 2021 at 4:57
1$\begingroup$ Agreed, except for cases where there is a commercial software package tailored for that industry. For example, there are various staff scheduling optimization systems that can be used for small and medium businesses, which solve a MIP model from the business data. $\endgroup$ Aug 31, 2021 at 17:28
One industry which we see in our daily life that is under-optimized (mainly in developing & under-developed nations) is HealthCare where we see lot of OR based application. Paper provided more details and survey of the same.
- Bradley, B.D., Jung, T., Tandon-Verma, A. et al. Operations research in global health: a scoping review with a focus on the themes of health equity and impact. Health Res Policy Sys 15, 32 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12961-017-0187-7