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  • By John Beadsmoore
  • In Blog
  • Posted 24/08/2021

The first challenge faced by many businesses new to predictive simulation is how to leverage the greatest value from a predictive simulation model to support a digital twin strategy.

While taking advice from both internal resources and experienced external simulation specialists is certainly a good place to start, there is definite value to be derived from the very outset of any simulation project by adhering to the following five simulation tips.

1. Know what you want

While predictive simulation is a powerful tool, to optimize results you need to be clear on which business issues you’re trying to address. What simulation definitely isn’t, is a solution for all business ills. But it does provide a means of demonstrating both the immediate and long-term impacts of decisions, replicating dynamically how certain operations, processes, spaces, equipment and resources are going to behave. It gives everyone the opportunity to see how potential changes will pan out, not just for them as individuals or departments, but for the organization as a whole. As such, the scope of a simulation model is potentially huge, which is why having a clear objective based on business priorities is essential.

Read more: Leading shoe brand NeroGiardini was undertaking a large and complex growth strategy, but their clarity on their objectives and requirements resulted in a successful project supported by predictive simulation modeling.

2. Engage your stakeholders as soon as possible

Stakeholders should be involved in the setting of model objectives and scope before any model building starts. Early stakeholder engagement ensures that the resulting model is the best it can be because the right people are involved, with the right expertise, to ask the right questions.

Early stakeholder engagement also gives everyone involved the visibility to see how potential benefits outweigh the pain of change. This not only offers reassurance that decisions have been investigated thoroughly and objectively, but instills all stakeholders with the confidence that a project is on the right track. By removing emotion and subjectivity at an early stage, you’re more likely to reach timely decisions, expediting timescales and potentially saving large sums of money.

3. Start with something important but achievable

For first-time predictive simulators, the best way to start is to pick one specific business problem to solve and develop a model to achieve this. For example, rather than modeling an entire production line, you might focus on a particular cell within that line that is causing you problems. This targeted approach will help you manage both budgetary and time constraints. And the resulting model will not only serve to address this specific business issue, but will establish best-practice simulation foundations that will underpin any future predictive simulation activity.

4. Move fast and maintain momentum

Models aren’t set in stone and can always be tuned to solve other business issues as understanding, needs and perspective change. This means that a phased, iterative approach to simulation is often the most beneficial. The dynamic nature of simulation models means that they can be re-used to support evolving demands of the business. New opportunities and challenges can be evaluated quickly to accurately predict the impact of proposed changes, ensuring better decision-making. This also offers you the opportunity to analyze new opportunities and threats as soon as they appear on the business horizon.

Read More: Nissan is boosting productivity by applying simulation to several distinct business problems.

5. Think big

It’s important to look beyond your initial model. Simulation affords businesses the luxury of exhaustive testing without the associated risks and costs of testing in a live environment. But, to fully realize all its benefits, simulation must take its rightful place as an integral business process, underpinning all decisions from board-level down. This should be the ultimate simulation goal. Only when simulation is embedded into day-to-day operations can organizations fully understand the dynamic and interconnected nature of their business. This will unlock new insights that will drive efficiency, productivity, and profitability.

Read More: Our client Hayward Tyler won Smart Factory of the Year 2016 by ‘thinking big’ when it comes to simulation. 

Are you ready to get started with predictive simulation and digital twins? Contact us today to discuss your challenges and opportunities, and how we can help you achieve better, more confident decision-making.

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