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Part III: Building Business Models > Solving Complex Problems with Solver

Chapter 16. Solving Complex Problems with Solver

IN THIS CHAPTER

Some Background on Solver

Loading Solver

Using Solver

Adding Constraints

Saving a Solution as a Scenario

Setting Other Solver Options

Making Sense of Solver's Messages

Case Study

Displaying Solver's Reports

In Chapter 14, “Using Excel's Business-Modeling Tools,” you learned how to use Goal Seek to find solutions to formulas by changing a single variable. Unfortunately, most problems in business aren't so easy. You'll usually face formulas with at least two and sometimes dozens of variables. Often a problem will have more than one solution, and your challenge will be to find the optimal solution (that is, the one that maximizes profit, or minimizes costs, or matches other criteria). For these bigger challenges, you need a more muscular tool. Excel has just the answer: Solver. Solver is a sophisticated optimization program that enables you to find the solutions to complex problems that would otherwise require high-level mathematical analysis. This chapter introduces you to Solver (a complete discussion would require a book in itself) and takes you through a few examples.


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