- In Blog
- Posted 22/03/2017
In my recent blog ‘5 Steps to Getting Started with Predictive Simulation’ I outlined a route to success for businesses new to predictive simulation. 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 of course! 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 visualisation capabilities and the different ‘what if’ scenarios it can facilitate, predictive simulation can get customers involved and engaged early in the sales cycle and 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, allowing ‘what-ifs’ or specific business questions to be demonstrated to engage the customer in ‘imagineering’; something we have found to excite and delight stakeholders in many situations, with some even witnessing ‘lottery win reactions’!
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 very specific levels or types of data or about being too accurate, which is a massive time saver when it comes to modelling.
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 a stakeholder workshop facilitated by 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. In our experience of simulation work at Lanner, this gets them buzzing with enthusiasm and we know that enthusiastic customers mean more business!
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 visualised in a variety of ways which look impressive and therefore undoubtedly increases buy-in, e.g.:
- building your predictive model using 2D and 3D visualisation
- creating on-the-fly decision points during the model run,
- modelling 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 will 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 the 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 can offer your business.