"Simulation may provide a
window into the future that may permit you the opportunity to reduce your
risk and better protect your capital investments!"
What exactly is simulation!
A computer simulation is a numeric
representation of a portion of a business process . . .
which collates specific time periods, space constraints, and the
procedural aspects by which people carry out their work assignments.
A simulation may or may not include a
graphic representation of a process.
A simulation becomes a tool by which
management improves the process level of performance,
individual throughput, and profitability . . . without
risking the ongoing performance of an existing operation.
Effective simulations must include
operational variabilities normally present in any business process:
- Minimum & maximum rates
- Number of employees assigned by
- Peak times
- Peak duration
- Software response times
- Capacity of areas assigned for
- Facility constraints
What do you need to consider when
Whenever we propose changes, we must
fully understand exactly what the impact will be to the upstream and
downstream portions of our process. Then we need to
- What types of simulation packages
- How expensive are the different
- Are they complicated?
- How sophisticated do you need
- Will your people use the
- Can you recover the cost to
purchase the package and train you people how to use the
You need to establish your program
What do you want to prove and who do
you need to prove it to?
Ask yourself these questions:
- How complex is your project?
- Will the simulation need to be a
“near graphic representation”
or a written recap of captured data?
- How will the results be utilized?
- What is the target project’s risk
Ask yourself if:
- . . . your
project is complex
- . . . the simulation needs to be a
“near graphic representation”
- . . . the results will be utilized
to determine the “absolute” viability of a project
- . . . the project has a high risk
If your answer is yes to to the above you need
to determine if you :
- can do the project in-house
- should subcontract the simulation
responsibility to an expert
Frankly, most companies do not have
the very expensive software nor the experienced personnel
required to perform a complex computer simulation, especially for their
first simulation project. In
this instance most companies will hire an outside consultant to prepare
and deliver a completed simulation.
if your project:
- is not complex
- does not need be a “near graphic
- is structured to where the results
will not be the only criteria utilized to validate a design
- is of minimal risk potential
Then you will need to determine:
- if you have the resources to do the
project in house
- what kind of software will be
appropriate for the type of simulation you need to perform
- what kind of training will your
- how much time will be required for
- the long range benefits
What do you need
to consider to determine if you can do the simulation In-house?
- What types of packages are
- Whether or not you choose to do
the the simulation in house, knowing which package is most
suitable for your requirements is very important.
- What do they cost?
- Some packages start at about
$500.00US and range to approximately $100,000US. Yon need
to define what you really need and what modules are
- Are they complicated?
- While there are many types of
simulation software packages available in many, but not all
instances, the learning curves can be rather steep.
the right package is an important decision.
- Can your people be properly
- Find out what training is
available and determine who you will send.
- Some vendors will actually
train your people using one of your target projects.
- Do you have the people and the
the basis for your simulation project and determine in advance
what experiments will need to be run to determine the viability
of your test project.
- You will need a substantial amount
of time to identify and gather reliable critical
- You should anticipate your need
far enough in advance to have your people trained on the
software package you choose.
Making your decision!
Prior to the introduction of more
cost-effective packages, simulation was not considered a cost- effective
- Learning curves were very steep!
- Preparation was time consuming!
- Modest packages were well over
- Special computers were necessary!
Today developing in-house
computer simulation capabilities may be viewed as a long term
simulation can be used to demonstrate the positive and negative effects
of proposed changes so it is viewed as an investment that can help you
avoid costly errors in the future.
does developing in-house
simulation capability provide my company?
IN our opinion, the advantages are
disciplines learned in utilizing simulation helps focus attention on
the element of time.
forces you to dissect a process which creates a better understanding
of the interdependencies within a process.
- Acquiring good
data forces you to analyze how the data was generated and thereby
create the opportunity to better understand the cause and effects
relationship of sometimes subtle interdependencies.
provides a strong foundation to better understand your process.
interdependencies enables you to pinpoint productivity and
soon develop the high level view necessary to critically assess your
operation and identify areas requiring improvement.
- You may
target specific areas for improvement and “virtually test”
alternative improvement plans prior to presentation to management.
- Should you
ever require a major simulation effort, you would be better prepared
to direct and support the efforts of the vendor.
knowledge and In-house simulation experience could significantly
reduce the cost of generating an effective simulation effort utilizing
an outside resource.
Through some trial and error, we found
a simulation package or two that is a particularly effective tool,
as well as cost-effective.
found the software to be simple enough to learn, has the potential for
daily use as a design validation tool, includes all of the essential
features found in more sophisticated packages, and sells for under
$1,000! While the graphics are elementary, we have found them to
be sufficient for most preliminary simulation activities.
Should you have an interest our
“opinion” regarding this
software, we would be pleased to share the information with