WEB-BASED BUSINESS SIMULATION MODELS
One of our core strengths is the development of professionally-designed online business simulation models. This builds upon the strength of Fortune 500 experience in a variety of analytical roles, where we’ve made extensive use of such models: strategic planning, market research, management science. These types of applications provide a variety of benefits to improve management processes and productivity:
- Training tools for new staff
- Models to help management evaluate financial impacts of alternative strategies and tactics
- Systems to ensure that your organization’s best-practice analytical protocols are followed for key strategic decisions (marketing, operations management, financial management, logistics, etc.).
- Enforcement of a comprehensive analytical framework that addresses all relevant areas of the business.
- Ability to retain and document the assumptions and tactical, detailed decisions supporting a company business plan.
- Propagation of your company’s business best practices throughout the organization.
The fundamental value of such simulation models is that staff and management can test alternative assumptions and decisions in a non-destructive simulated environment that involves no commitments to any particular decision.
This type of what-if protocol enables discovery of optimal strategies without disruption of actual operations.
While desktop simulation models (primarily in Excel) have served well for many years, we find that more organizations today are interested in web-enabled models. This enables remote collaboration. Being un-tetherd from a hard drive installed model means that multiple parties, in remote locations and on multiple device types, can simultaneously participate in an analytical process.
It has the additional advantage of eliminating “version creep”; that administrative hassle of trying to keep everyone on the same model version page. We have assembled an effective toolbox for online web simulations, consisting of: Wordpress, Google Fusion Table and spreadsheet APIs, and Google charting APIs. We have several instances of applications we have built, using these tools.
Here’s an example of an input screen that closely emulates the familiar, user-friendly feel of a spreadsheet.
This particular model utilized a variety of user input windows into a series of interconnected spreadsheets. They are placed in logical pages within the overall analytical process. The spreadsheets they link to are completely private and credential-protected, but approved visitors to these pages can input new assumptions and decisions into them.
Below is an example of one of the dashboard sections that reveal the system effects of the latest inputs:
The reporting pages consist of numerous financial and other tables, and data visualizations. The users can investigate strategy effects on a wide variety of operational and financial metrics without the usual tedious process of manual spreadsheet iteration.
Building these types of applications has become one of our core competencies. We’d love to discuss with you how they might improve a particularly complex analytical process that you and your organization have been trying to tame. We have developed a modern “RAD” approach (Rapid Application Development) to building these models. You can see more details about our RAD approach here.
For clients who prefer the approach of desktop, macro-driven Excel models, we have that approach covered as well here.