When should you consider using
In today's complex supply chain
environment there is great pressure to reduce inventories and simplify
the processes by which you operate and manage your business.
Not only are you constrained by the
physical length, width and height configuration of your facility, you
are becoming more constrained by a fourth dimension. We will call
that fourth dimension . . . time.
Perhaps the most important component
of good design is understanding the maximum throughput that must be
accommodated within a specific period of time. We must be able to
answer these critical questions.
As designers we must not only
understand what is happening in every part of the process, but precisely
when it is suppose to happen.
We must understand what variables can impact process flow and
then determine if our design can “flatten” the peaks and shorten the
Computer simulation can be an
invaluable tool in helping to judge the variables and test the impact of
new changes occurring within the existing process. What changes
can be made that would reduce these peaks and their duration?
Simulation should be considered
whenever we propose changes, and we must understand exactly what
the impact is to the upstream and downstream portions of our process.
Is Simulation a worthwhile tool?
An experienced designer will know when
an approach is overkill. An experienced designer will also know when an approach is not
quite up to the task. The operative word in both scenarios is
You can use computer simulation
to test approaches wherein you are not totally convinced that the
approach will produce the desired results.
Simulation helps guide personnel
through a more disciplined and methodical approach. It becomes
easier to visualize how peak the rates, the departmental
interdependencies, and both parallel and serial operations sequencing
affect the total process.
You use computer simulation to
understand how change may impact other portions of the process.
Computer simulation can be used
to demonstrate the effects of proposed changes.
You use computer simulation to
demonstrate to supervisors and management how a specific approach
will or will not meet expectations.
Simulation may demonstrate to
supervisors and management how changes in their roles and
responsibilities can contribute to the overall success of the entire
Simulation can be considered a
worthwhile tool whenever we consider changes where experience tells us
that the outcome is in doubt or, that there is there would be a
considerable expense due to failure. Simulation can help you mitigate
your risk potential.
Is Simulation expensive?
A great deal of the expense involved
in simulation is related to your expectations.
Graphics can be expensive, but in some
instances, absolutely necessary. Typically, more time may be spent
tuning the graphic portion of the project than developing the
If graphics are necessary to
validate a particular design, then the cost of a computer simulation can
often be more expensive!
Will Simulation save money?
Simulation helps you better understand
your risks when considering changes to your operation.
Simulation may uncover flaws in a
Simulation may expose other issues
affecting the effectiveness of an existing process!
Simulation may drive the design
toward an unexpected direction . . . possibly a more effective
Simulation may be used to
validate a design or the effectiveness of various approaches to solving
a problem . . . all without jeopardizing the output of an existing
Simulation can save money by
eliminating or reducing risks and avoiding costly mistakes!
Are there any
advantages to developing an "in-house" simulation
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