Posted by xin xiu24 on 26. Aug 2016

Remaining competitive in today's global economy means delivering higher quality

services and products at better prices. Your customers (and your bottom line)

demand continuous improvement ,

lower costs and shorter delivery times. To ignore these realities will almost

certainly result in reduced profitability, or worse.


?Almost a Crystal Ball?
The problem with change is that it is risky; without

the proverbial crystal ball, we cannot be certain what to change, or what to

change to. There is, however ,

a way to evaluate the risks before implementing change, so reducing them to well

understood levels. Simulation can show you all possible outcomes in your

situation - and tell you how likely they are to occur! What this means for you

-- the decision maker -- is that you finally have, if not perfect information,

the most complete picture possible. You will see what could happen, how likely

it is to happen ,

and so be able to judge which risks to take and which ones to avoid. While

simulation can鎶?predict the future, it can help you to choose the best strategy

based on the available information before committing significant funds to the

process. That's not a bad start!

Why not use simulation to improve

performance measurement for better manufacturing management? Identify

bottlenecks, improve productivity, implement lean manufacturing or perform

theory of constraints. Using the latest simulation techniques will help you

tighten up your processes to meet stringent market demand and out-perform your

competition by using simulation to plan, model ,

validate, and communicate better ways of getting the job done.

What Can

You Simulate?
You can simulate just about anything, but as a general rule, if

you can draw a flowchart of your system then you can simulate it. What

simulation does is to recreate all of the important and relevant logical rules

that tell a system how to work, and how long to take at each stage. It's easy to

think of a simulation of a manufacturing process ,

but you can apply the same logic to health care, call centres, project planning,

and any other system where a job or unit of work flows through a number of


The processes you'll gain most benefit from simulating are those

that involve change over time and randomness; for example a call centre. Nobody

can guess at exactly what time the next call will arrive, for how many rings the

caller is prepared to wait for an answer ,

or how long they will wait in a queue listening to music or messages before

hanging up. Modelling complex dynamic systems like this effectively in any other

way simply isn鎶?practical.

Why Simulate?
Simulation provides a vehicle

for a discussion about all aspects of a process. Defining the rules and

collecting data force you to consider why elements work in a certain way, and

how they could work better. It also brings to the surface inconsistencies and

inefficiencies especially between different sections of a process that work


There are many process improvements you can make using

simulation: higher quality and efficiency from capital assets, better management

of inventory, higher return on assets; the list is endless. But some of these

improvements could be made without simulation, so the real question is 'Why use

simulation instead of another method?'

Simulation vs Real Life


Experimenting in real life is costly. It鎶?not

only the capital expenditure of hiring new staff or purchasing new

equipment ,

it鎶?the cost of the ramifications of these decisions. What if you fire three

staff and then find you can't cope with the workload and you loose customers?

The only cost with simulation is the software and the man hours to build the


In real life it鎶?really difficult to repeat

the exact circumstances again so you only get one chance to collect the results

and you can't test different ideas under exactly the same circumstances. So how

do you know which idea is really the best? With simulation you can test the same

system again and again with different inputs.

If you want to know

whether hiring another three doctors will reduce patient waiting lists over the

next two years you'll actually have to wait two years. With simulation you can

run two, ten or even one hundred years into the future in seconds. So you get

the answer now instead of when it鎶?too late to do anything about


Managing change
Aside from the machine operations, companies also

have to deal with product changeovers, variability and unpredictable events such

as workforce absenteeism, material shortages or accidents. All of these affect

the productivity of a production line.

Test driving new

Because of the high cost of both inefficiencies and new

equipment ,

optimizing systems design and operation is critical to improving overall

productivity, customer service and the bottom line. Simulation lets you build up

your system and then test it; you can combine process simulation and

optimization to help demonstrate, predict and measure system performance; you

can find out where and why problems occur, (e.g. why a bottleneck builds up),

allowing you to identify areas for improvement ,

test out new ideas and, most importantly understand how a system works without

taking any significant risks and before introducing changes to live


With graphical and animated packages you can

communicate your understanding and improvement ideas to others. You can

visualise how work flows through your system and see its dynamics in fast

forward time. You can actually watch bottlenecks building up and see what is

causing the problems.

Simulation is helping companies take the guesswork

out of desig


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