Using DEA and simulation in guiding operating units to improved performance

A. Greasley*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The potential for the use of DEA and simulation in a mutually supporting role in guiding operating units to improved performance is presented. An analysis following a three-stage process is suggested. Stage one involves obtaining the data for the DEA analysis. This can be sourced from historical data, simulated data or a combination of the two. Stage two involves the DEA analysis that identifies benchmark operating units. In the third stage simulation can now be used in order to offer practical guidance to operating units towards improved performance. This can be achieved by the use of sensitivity analysis of the benchmark unit using a simulation model to offer direct support as to the feasibility and efficiency of any variations in operating practices to be tested. Alternatively, the simulation can be used as a mechanism to transmit the practices of the benchmark unit to weaker performing units by building a simulation model of the weaker unit to the process design of the benchmark unit. The model can then compare performance of the current and benchmark process designs. Quantifying improvement in this way provides a useful driver to any process change initiative that is required to bring the performance of weaker units up to the best in class. © 2005 Operational Research Society Ltd. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)727-731
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of the Operational Research Society
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2005


  • data envelopment analysis
  • DEA
  • discrete-event
  • simulation


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