Organizations are constantly trying to improve the way their businesses perform. To this end, managers have to take decisions on changes to the operational processes. However, these changes are never without consequences and often high costs are involved. Therefore, it is of the utmost importance that these decisions are supported by a thorough analysis of all possible consequences on the organization.
To gain insights into the consequences of decisions on an operational process, one often resorts to simulation studies. In these studies, simulation models are made of the operational process under consideration, taking into account the necessary elements, such as costs, resources and activities. These simulation models are then executed with different parameters, to gain insights into the consequences of different decisions on the basis of which a final decision is made.
It is clear that the construction of simulation models of an operational process is a far from trivial task. Deciding which elements of the operational process to take into account and which not is key to getting useful simulation results.
In this course, we use a discrete event simulation tool called Arena to execute simulations. This tool allows for the graphical definition of a simulation model, together with complex definitions of queue types, resource availability and so on.