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Google OR-Tools. Business Value and Potential

Google OR-Tools. Business Value and Potential

September 23, 2019
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5 min read

If you haven't heard of Google OR-Tools, your business is missing out.

OR-Tools is an open-source, fast, and portable software for combinatorial optimization. The first version was released on GitHub in September 2015 and has since evolved to version 7.2 released in July 2019. While Google AI-based solution was created in C++, the suite can be used with a variety of other popular languages, including Python, Java, and C#. Versions for Linux, Mac, and Windows OS are all available for download and installation.

I won't go deep into technical details, not to bore you. Instead, I suggest we discuss Google OR-Tools business potential. I'll cover crucial benefits this software possesses when compared to similar solutions, demonstrate a couple of use cases and cover adoption barriers you should keep in mind.

The benefits of Google developers tools

Google OR-Tools offer solvers for linear and mixed-integer programming, constraint programming, vehicle routing, graph algorithms, and more.

Google OR-Tools possess multiple technical benefits compared to other solutions, including

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More benefits come to the fore if you consider the business implications of the daily process optimization. Both startups and established businesses can make use of the capabilities of Google OR-Tools to:

  • Streamline operations using advanced personnel and equipment scheduling.
  • Ensure all resources are well-used by eliminating or minimizing idle time or vacant spaces.
  • Reduce the risks of overproduction or overstocking by calculating the right inventory to produce or order.
  • Stay ahead of the competition by finding optimal solutions to complex problems sooner and with fewer expenses.
  • Secure customer loyalty by providing quality and timely services through the use of efficient and high-performance algorithms.

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Google OR-Tools use cases for your business

With benefits in mind, you might be asking yourself what solutions this technology can offer your company in the hands of experienced software developers. Let me give you a couple of examples.

Routing

Routing is one of the most complicated and exciting tasks in programming. Google OR-Tools offer specialized algorithms for both node-based and arc-based routing problems. This means you can:

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Packing

Complimentary to the routing problem, this solution is indispensable for delivery trucks, moving businesses, as well as international logistics companies. Google OR-Tools offer optimization capabilities for many packing problems. If you run a shipping operation or want to enter the market, put OR-Tools to use to:

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Assignment

Asset management offers multiple optimization possibilities, starting with assigning tasks to workers to ensure minimum expenses and maximum returns. Coupled with the routing problem, this solution can be used if you run a taxi or delivery service. However, any business that handles several projects or assignments at the same time can use Google OR-Tools to:

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Scheduling

While similar to the assignment problem, scheduling deals primarily with time constraints for personnel, equipment, and other assets. Optimized solutions can be invaluable for any business and present multiple startup opportunities. For instance, you can:

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OR-Tools adoption barriers

Despite a host of benefits and business use cases, Google OR-Tools are not always the perfect solution. The most pressing adoption barriers you can run into are:

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Takeaway

I hope my brief overview of Google OR-Tools, its benefits, and use cases made you as interested and excited as I was when I realized the potential of this library. To recap,

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Realizing the potential of OR-Tools across a variety of business implementations, Freshcode developers, including me, have familiarized themselves with the library and its capabilities. We suggested it to several clients and successfully implemented solutions for the routing problem.

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