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Guest Post: Another Approach to Teaching the Center-of-Gravity Model

March 20, 2013

Howard WeissOur Guest Post today comes from Prof. Howard Weiss, at Temple University. Howard is the developer of the POM for Windows and Excel OM problem solving software that we provide free with our OM texts.

Your Heizer/Render textbook covers the Center-of-Gravity Method in Chapter 8. However, there is a related model that is not covered and is easy to explain to the students. Consider Example 3 in the text, on page 322, in which Quain’s Discount Department Stores is looking for a location to build a new warehouse. Suppose though that rather than seeking a “central” location, the warehouse must be built in one of the four cities that currently has a store – Chicago, Pittsburgh, New York or Atlanta.

This revised example can lead to the discussion of straight-line (Euclidean) distance as compared with city-block/taxi distance and can serve as a student reminder about the Pythagorean Theorem.  The distance computations are tedious but not difficult. Of course, using POM for Windows (shown below)

POM for Windows printout

POM for Windows printout

or Excel OM (below) the students can easily identify that Pittsburgh is the city with the least total weighted movement from each of the other 3 cities with a total weighted movement of 318,692.

Excel OM screen capture

Excel OM screen capture

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