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  • By John Beadsmoore
  • In Blog
  • Posted 31/08/2021

In my recent blog ‘5 Steps to Getting Started with Predictive Simulation’ I outlined a route to success for businesses new to predictive simulation and digital twins. Throughout that blog you’ll notice an underlying assumption that the purpose of the model(s) being built was to answer key business questions – which is often the case! In this blog, I will look at it from a different angle and focus on how predictive simulation can be used to win business (e.g. new business pitches or help manage contract negotiations) through closer customer collaboration.

By using its various data visualization capabilities and the different ‘what if’ scenarios it can facilitate, predictive simulation can get customers involved and engaged early in the sales cycle to really make a difference to the outcome.

Inspire engagement through the art of the possible

Simulation models are built to show the art of the possible. They allow you to demonstrate the outcomes of specific ‘what-if’ business questions and can be used to engage your customer in ‘imagineering.’ We’ve seen firsthand how this excites stakeholders, such as this  “lottery win reaction” at Hayward Tyler as they used predictive simulation to visualize their new facility.

When you know what you want to achieve, (i.e. get stakeholder buy-in and engagement) and then apply predictive simulation, it becomes much easier and quicker to accurately scope and define the ‘showcase’ model you want to use. This is because the focus here is engaging a potential customer with less emphasis placed on the accuracy of the actual model results (but only at this stage, as I come to later!). In this instance, you don’t have to worry about specific levels or types of data or about being too accurate, which is a massive time saver when it comes to modeling.

Customer involvement equals customer enthusiasm

Simulation will also take you beyond mere engagement with your clients and allow you to physically involve them, too. An example would be facilitating a stakeholder workshop using a visual interactive simulation model. This moves the dynamic of a customer interaction from across-the-table to sitting alongside each other, seeking to address a common goal. This means you are not simply reviewing PowerPoint plans, looking at static images or playing videos (all of which have value), but allowing your customer to physically explore a process working and encourage them to identify suggestions for how you can work together to improve it, giving you the opportunity to show them how this could be achieved. 

Want to try it for yourself? Lanner’s Digital Brewery Challenge puts you in charge of a microbrewery and gives you funds to experiment with different investment and operational decisions. Compete against your colleagues to see who can maximize profits. It’s a great way to see how making the right decisions within a complex, interconnected business process is much more difficult than it might seem.

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Lanner's Digital Brewery Challenge allows you to try your hand at maximizing profits by testing different ideas for improvement.

Get visual!

Getting buy-in from your stakeholders is key. Often in the engagement stages mentioned above there is a short window of opportunity to put a model together, so the emphasis is more on visuals, example scenarios and indicative output rather than being constrained by data availability, accuracy and validity. Fortunately, this means a model can be put together relatively quickly and the output visualized in a variety of ways which look impressive and therefore undoubtedly increases buy-in, e.g.:

  • building your predictive model using 2D and 3D visualization
  • creating on-the-fly decision points during the model run,
  • modeling parameters fed by digital twin data,
  • immersive digital environments via head-mounted display.

Providing timely concrete answers to those key business decisions

Having achieved early success with your customer, you’ll want to maintain this momentum while the early stakeholder enthusiasm is still there. This means turning the indicative model into a validated model that can provide concrete answers to the key business questions. You can do this by readdressing the scope, getting real data for model parameters, validating KPI results, and evaluating scenarios. Nobody wants to wait six months for an answer, so having stakeholder buy-in, a realistic plan, and a suitably resourced team with the right skills, will properly capture the exciting future-proofing vision predictive simulation and digital twins can offer your business.

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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