A large software company with 4 separate buildings in different states, has offers from 3 different floppy disk manufacturers to supply their monthly need of new diskettes. To whom should the contracts be awarded to minimize cost? Bids per 1000 diskettes Building 1 Building 2 Building 3 Building 4 Manufacturer 1 \$50 \$45 \$48 \$52 Manufacturer 2 \$52 \$48 \$51 \$54 Manufacturer 3 \$49 \$51 \$50 \$52 Contracts awarded per 1000 diskettes Building 1 Building 2 Building 3 Building 4 Total Available Manufacturer 1 5 5 5 5 20 25 Manufacturer 2 5 5 5 5 20 30 Manufacturer 3 5 5 5 5 20 25 Total 15 15 15 15 Required 20 25 15 15 Total Cost \$3,010 Problem A large software company with 4 different buildings in different states, needs a large supply of diskettes on a monthly basis in each of those buildings. The company has 3 different offers from several floppy disk manufacturers. Which offer or combination of offers should the company accept in order to minimize cost? Solution 1) The variables are the number of diskettes to buy from each manufacturer. On worksheet Award1 these are given the name Contracts. 2) The contracts awarded need to meet the demand of the software company and should not exceed the number of diskettes available from each manufacturer. This gives Contracts_given >= Contracts_required Total_contracts <= Contracts_available Besides these constraints, we also have the logical constraint Contracts >= 0 via the Assume Non-Negative option 3) The objective is to minimize cost. In Award1 this cell is given the name Total_Cost. Remarks Models like the one discussed here are often used by the government. A common example is the contracts that are awarded to companies to supply fuel for airbases. Normally, we have further constraints on the bids from each supplier, such as a minimum number of diskettes in this case. In the Award2 worksheet we will see how to handle such a constraint.