What is enterprise simulation?While enterprise simulation, in general, is not a new concept, advancements in technology have made it more effective in recent years. As such, different people have various understandings of this concept. As a whole, it is a method or technique that can be used to simulate actual business functions interconnected into a holistic digital twin of an enterprise. It includes creating simulation models that mirror a business’s processes, systems, and workflows.
Decision-makers can use this approach to evaluate many different scenarios or even run various experiments to decide on the most appropriate course of action. It works well in both the short and long terms and enables potential issues to be addressed before they arise.
Importantly, it can be used in a wide range of industries, including marketing, finance, supply chain management, and more.
Overall, employing enterprise simulation allows businesses to optimize their operations, lower costs and risks, and boost overall performance.
What distinguishes enterprise simulations?
So, according to PwC, how is an enterprise project different, and what distinguishes enterprise simulation from other types of simulation? What are the key considerations for enterprise simulation projects?
They have identified four distinct categories to answer these questions, as illustrated below.
How does PwC tailor their approach?
There is a big difference between building a model locally for a small group of people and building a model at the enterprise level. So, a tailored approach needs to be developed that will enable you to understand the direction you are heading.
There are many different features that you must consider at the onset of the project. These include integration into existing systems, user and model scale, model complexity, understanding problems, continuously improving, and setting expectations.
Before even beginning modeling, it is important to make sure that you understand these aspects so that you can accomplish your goals and your client will get what they are looking for.
PwC enterprise simulation steps
PwC has many years of experience working with many different clients across many different industries. They have developed a unique approach that works for them and, if implemented correctly, could work for your business too.
This approach can be divided into five steps, each unique and vitally important for the success of a project.
Derive the problem statement
This is a crucial part because if you get it wrong at the very beginning, the project will be headed down the wrong path from the outset. With this correctly identified right from the get-go, you can start, and hopefully end the project knowing that everyone agrees on what the model should do.
Run a system thinking workshop
This involves two parts. The first is a preparatory and training session, and the second is a workshop. The goal of this is to reach an agreement on the system, which usually takes the form of a causal loop diagram, but can also be a flow chart or even a mental model.
Summarize the workshop
A written statement should be produced here and given to stakeholders. It may include a problem statement and a visual representation of the system, among others. At this moment, any necessary corrections can be made.
Determine high-level data requirements
Immediately perform exploratory data analysis. If the data does not support the decisions made, the problem statement or the purpose of the model can be rectified.
Decide whether to proceed
A qualification guide, containing a checklist and a number of questions, is used at this stage. These should have been answered before, but this serves as a follow-up. Following this, a final decision can be made about whether to proceed with the project or not.
What to remember when considering enterprise simulation
When thinking about enterprise simulation, you should keep in mind not only the steps to take in detail, but also the bigger picture. Remember that planning is crucial, and don’t forget to include the client in your working process. They will not be happy if you come to them after a long period and their vision does not match what you have done.
Also, don’t add complexity just because you can. It’s possible to build a model that is highly intricate and has the most fascinating features, but why overcomplicate matters? Additionally, make sure that what you are doing fits with the processes and structures of the client that you are working with. Integration with their current systems or methods is vital to the success of the project. Finally, and maybe most importantly, identify who is using this and for what.
Watch the video below from PwC’s presentation at the AnyLogic Conference 2022 to dive deeper into this interesting topic.
Then, find out even more about enterprise simulation by taking a look at two blog posts, and then a video from our AnyLogic Conference 2022:
- Custom libraries in AnyLogic and enterprise simulation
- Enabling enterprise scale simulation deployment
- Enterprise Simulation within the AnyLogic Ecosystem
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