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#bestbpmplatform: Truly Understanding Impacts of Process Change

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What If?

“What If…?”  Two simple words, with so much potential for impact. What if we could hire more people, buy new equipment, or improve quality? What kind of impact would that have? What if we could find out the results without incurring the cost of more people or equipment, or disruption to the real-life process? That’s the promise of simulation. To let you play with many different scenarios, or ‘What if?’ questions, to improve your processes and your results.

Simulation?

As Shakespeare asked, “What’s in a name?” For ‘Simulation,’ more than you might think. There are different kinds of simulation. Two of the most common are Monte Carlo (Static) and Discrete Event (Dynamic).

Monte Carlo simulation basically means repeatedly solving a formula and simplifies real-life complexity to do so. Some of the ‘Simulation’ solutions out there offer Monte Carlo style simulation. So if you want to gamble on being able to simplify your processes to get an answer, then Monte Carlo may be for you.

Simulating Using iGrafx

While you can simplify your iGrafx simulation model to do Monte Carlo simulation – by simply not modeling resources, schedules, and all the other real-life constraints that real processes have – there is so much more you can do. If you want to truly unlock the power of simulation, Discrete Event Simulation (DES) can find things that Monte Carlo tools cannot; such as bottlenecks, actual resource utilization, complex interactions between process paths, process optimization, etc.

In addition, with iGrafx you can run a Design of Experiments (DoE), which runs multiple randomized simulations, each slightly different reflecting true process variation.  Then by using integrations with statistical tools such as Minitab or JMP, can find the ‘optimal’ point within the responses of a designed experiment.

A Note for ‘Propeller Heads’ Like Me

For those of you wanting the detail, the dynamic analysis that DES allows is simply not possible in a static analysis (deterministic or stochastic) like that which Monte Carlo provides. Can your simulation tool do the following?

  • Analysis of resource contention between multiple process activities
  • Analysis of labor rules, e.g. waiting when resources are not available, and overtime rules
  • Resource sharing between Swimlanes® (mono or bi-directional) as dictated by workload
  • The effects of queuing work and queuing rules (e.g. FIFO, LIFO). This is especially important when transactions that represent different product or services are represented.
  • Routing by transaction attributes (product or SKU type, length of time of processing, resource, equipment selection based on an attribute of the work and/or by the current state of a step)
  • Machine (or other process) change-overs driven by the dynamic arrivals of transactions carrying different attributes with drive set-ups or changes overs.

Do you have a need for powerful, real-life simulation analysis? Then do not let others try to fool you with a lot of “static”.  iGrafx can help! 

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