In the early 70s I spent about 5 years writing computer business models. These were mathematical models of shop floor operations which then fed up to the business financial statements so that the businesses could look at the implications of their plans. They could then draw up weekly or monthly schedules for the next year or several years and see what the financial implications would be.
Here’s an example. I wrote a shop floor model for ATV. Lew Grade would decide that ATV should have a Xmas spectacular or a sitcom series or whatever. We made rough profiles of the involvement of each department ( scene makers , makeup , camera ops , VTR ops etc ) over the lifetime of the programme , from planning to execution , for various kinds of programme, then the planners could plug the profile in and slide the plan around and see where there was capacity and where they would overrun. Then the financial implications would be fed up to the P&L , cash flow and balance sheet. (Incidentally while I was writing this model I had to share the Julie Andrews suite with Danny La Rue – but that’s another story). I wrote , or had a hand in writing , models for all kinds of other businesses.