Last Updated Aug 2, 2010 2:10 PM EDT
For decades, Procter & Gamble mostly trusted its executives and brand managers' gut instincts to make critical decisions — when to launch a new product, say, or how much inventory to stock. Today, thanks to exponentially more powerful computer systems and a new generation of predictive software, a new army of "quants" at P&G is helping execs with every important decision — and getting it right almost every time. Here's how operations research, or OR, is helping P&G streamline supply chains, launch new brands, and tackle dozens of other problems.
Also in our feature package: Where the future of OR is headed, a list of the top players in the field, and an interview with a top OR expert about how analytics can drive decisionmaking in almost any type business.