Finalists selected for INFORMS’ Franz Edelman Award

Finalist contributions include retail company product strategy, airline function optimisation, food chain productivity and sustainability, data-driven ferry operations, plant operations optimisation and streamlined transportation for elderly and disabled citizens.

INFORMS, the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences, has announced its six finalists for its prestigious Franz Edelman Award, an award for research that achieves significant real-world impact. The cumulative impact of all finalists for the Edelman Award (since its inception in 1972) is estimated to value above $400 billion USD, in savings, improvements and other benefits.

The 2024 finalists have been selected for results in improving strategy and operations across a range of industries, including retail product strategy, food chain productivity and sustainability, and transportation and plant operations.


ALDI SÜD Germany.This German organisation reshaped its national ‘special buys strategy’ toward a unified pathway for managing a key product area, using data-driven techniques, proprietary software and collective intelligence. This resulted in significant annual savings plus several billion euros in revenue. This strategy enhanced the company’s competitiveness, boosted profitability and reestablished it as a leader in the discount market within Germany. The company also reduced waste and improved employee and customer satisfaction.

American Airlines.  Using optimisation and AI, the airline developed the ‘Hub Efficiency Analytics Tool (HEAT)’ which helps achieve more effective management of irregular operations during severe weather. HEAT dynamically adjusts flight departure timings to ensure that aircraft keep moving when weather threatens operations. Since its deployment, HEAT has been used more than 100 times during summer months at the airline’s largest hub airports and prevented nearly 1,000 flight cancellations across the network.

McDonald’s China. The second-largest McDonald’s franchise collaborated with Xiahui Logistics and Optimisation Analytics Technology (OAT) to optimise their supply chain. They saved $63.75 million USD in supply chain investments and $8.9 million USD in annual transportation costs. The company aims to deploy these tools in supply chain and data platforms for continuous network optimisation and comprehensive inventory planning.

Molslinjen. Halfspace and Molslinjen developed a bespoke forecasting and revenue management toolbox for data-driven operation of ferries in Denmark. The system allows for better and faster packing of vehicles in the cargo area while reducing delays, fuel costs and emissions. Dynamic pricing for revenue management also allows better set prices based on contextual information and regulatory constraints.

Tata Steel Limited. Tata Steel India used advanced analytics and optimisation to digitally transform the continuous steel annealing operation in its most value-added product stream. Developed in collaboration with IIT Bombay, this solution transformed the plant operation and reduced fuel consumption and CO2 emission by eight percent per ton of steel (equivalent annual savings of $2.5 million USD and 10,000 tons of CO2) in addition to 20 percent improvement in premium product quality.

Transvision. CQM and Geodan developed an analytics solution to streamline Transvision’s day-to-day planning of 3,000 to 15,000 long-distance taxi rides for elderly and disabled people, using an analytics solution to combines the rides. This resulted in 50 percent improvement in passenger satisfaction. Since its inception, 75 million driving kilometers (equivalent to 7,500 metric tons of CO2 emissions) have been saved.