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  • By Oliver Bird
  • In Blog
  • Posted 29/07/2015

Oliver Bird from Lanner looks at the extended value of simulation and how it can provide a solid foundation for ongoing process improvement

In the run up to the London 2012 Olympics, much was made of the ‘2012 legacy’ and how the UK as a whole would ultimately benefit from the £9 billion it invested in the Games. Billing it as much more than a lengthy, costly project that would culminate in the hosting of a two-week sporting spectacular, the team behind London 2012 outlined a vast list of long-term benefits that the UK would reap as a result of footing the bill for the 2012 Games. While the jury’s still very much out on whether or not the UK’s Olympic investment is starting to bear fruit, the idea of ‘extended value’ is something that is very much in evidence when it comes to predictive simulation.

Before making the decision to invest in simulation technology, businesses often perceive that while the investment involved in creating a model (in terms of both financial outlay and time spent on the project) can generate substantial ROI, this value expires once the immediate outcomes of the resulting model have been implemented. In fact, Lanner’s most productive clients extend this value significantly by using the model for numerous future challenges their business might wish to tackle.

When motors and pumps manufacturer, Hayward Tyler, decided to undertake a major business transformation project, the team used WITNESS to construct a virtual factory which gave them a holistic picture of the evolving manufacturing requirements over the next five to ten years. This “Vision Factory” model showed how the business would look as far ahead as 2022, as well as at any point between now and then. not only was the team at Hayward Tyler able to use the model to plan for the immediate changes the New Factory Build project required, but the dynamic, future-gazing nature of the model means that it will still be relevant and highly valuable for testing any future business changes.

This is the real value of developing flexible, highly parameterised simulation solutions; by updating this virtual factory with changes as they occur, incorporating product and customer developments, adding new processes, assets or demand profiles, , Hayward Tyler will be able to use the same developed model to underpin all plans for the future.

Business transformation projects invariably lead to further projects, some of which will be very different in scope to the original. But through creating a robust, dynamic model at an early stage, it can be used as a powerful decision support tool to support these future projects. An investment in simulation represents immense value for any business; it’s an investment with legs (Olympic Gold-winning long distance legs at that), which provides an enduring legacy of successful change management for the foreseeable future and beyond.

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