The more technology and automation tools develop, the more integral they become to everything that we do. From artificial intelligence that predicts financial markets to logistics optimisation tools, businesses have never been so reliant on technology.
Research indicates that 70% of organisations have a digital transformation strategy, highlighting the willingness the vast majority have to embrace change. This is, of course, a good thing as it shows progress.
But, perhaps more importantly, this positive attitude towards digital transformation indicates that sophisticated systems, tools and workflows are now more accessible than before and opening doors for startups to embrace technology from the get-go. One area in particular helping businesses succeed is simulation technology - which offers a multitude of solutions to help companies of all sizes prosper.
What is business simulation technology?
Business simulation technology is a tool that uses virtual or digital models to analyse processes and systems. It is also useful for business owners to run various scenarios virtually and make strategic decisions based on those outcomes.
Simulation technology and tools can be adopted for a range of industries including retail, manufacturing, healthcare, supply chain management and finance. New business owners can also use simulation technology to optimise their processes and improve their logistics and supply chain efficiency
Ultimately, simulation technology allows businesses to experiment in a risk-free environment to find solutions that help them reduce costs, improve efficiency and better develop their products or services.
What types of simulation technology can you use?
Businesses across multiple industries can benefit from simulation technology, and it is not just confined to a select few. Companies can invest in process simulations that analyse sales performance and statistical forecasting to find patterns and predict outcomes using a mathematical model.
They may also use risk analysis simulations before making any major changes to their organisational structure or implementing strategic simulations, which can then help with marketing, finance and product design decisions. Simulation tools can also help companies to shape new concept designs and prototypes or event scheduling which only uses time as a variable to accurately predict timelines for projects, markets and business decisions.
Better training with simulation technology
There are also more vocational simulation tools that allow businesses, organisations and educational institutions to help professionals in their experiential training. For example, virtual reality simulation training for doctors creates realistic simulations of medical procedures and puts zero patients at risk of being guinea pigs. Similarly, commercial pilots must spend time learning in a simulator before they are entrusted with the controls of a jet airliner and eventually, the lives of hundreds of passengers.
Simulation can also be used to assist athletes in honing their skills and decision-making, or as a coaching aid for their coaches. Professional athletes use a range of simulation techniques such as golf simulators that accurately track golf shots and offer analytical feedback
. Similarly, racing drivers can spend hours in a simulation rig that perfectly replicates their car and the circuits they race on. They provide detailed analysis which assists drivers in learning corners, gearing choices and track limits to improve performance when it matters most – on the track.
A virtual testing ground
Perhaps the best overall use of simulation technology is to forecast how the market will react to different scenarios that companies can run, or how you can tackle a difficult market
. This allows businesses to identify opportunities. By using accurate market predicting simulations, companies can create specific risk assessments, improve their decision making and complete thorough market analysis.
The trends and outcomes that occur through simulations allow businesses to better understand customer behaviour, logistics, supply chain issues and optimal inventory levels. This can transform the way your business operates, reducing inefficiencies across the board and helping insulate you against the market through accurate predictions.
Trialling changes without real-world consequences
The other main benefit to businesses that integrate simulation technology into their workflow is the low risks associated with it. Companies can run tests for various scenarios without risking any real-world repercussions they would otherwise face if they brought their idea to market. Being able to test the waters without huge risk or expense is useful for gathering data and making better-informed strategic decisions.
Of course, this is not to say that a business becomes bulletproof just because it has integrated simulation software into its operations, particularly a new business venture. Simulation technology can assist entrepreneurs in making smart decisions based on the outcomes of virtual tests and models, but it is not the goose that lays golden eggs. You will still need to be agile and create solutions to the problems forecast by simulation technology.
Creating a growth culture
Simulation tools also help companies look inwards and improve all aspects of their operations from within. It is a great training tool for businesses, allowing employees to learn from individual mistakes without harming the company’s fortunes or damaging its reputation in the process.
Being able to develop skills without risk helps impart a growth culture within a company
, where staff feel comfortable taking ownership of their development. Furthermore, simulation technology can give a company’s creativity a major boost. Through the outcomes of tests and simulations, companies can be alerted to potential problems down the line.
This is where they can put their problem-solving skills to the test to find the solutions needed now rather than waiting to run into the issue later. Companies can develop a culture of creativity by continually identifying new business opportunities and markets, followed up with solutions and new ideas to boost growth.
Develop your business finance skills
Financial skills are essential for the success of a business but not everyone can channel their inner Pythagoras. Thankfully, some simulations come equipped with financial models that are capable of helping new business owners out with budgeting and forecasting, especially if you aren’t experienced in that field.
New business owners often need guidance, and simulation technology can act as a mentor in the absence of a real one by assisting with financial decision-making
, resource allocation and risk management.
Is simulation technology right for your new business?
While not 100% accurate, simulation tools are a great sounding board for various ideas and concepts to indicate how they might perform in the real world. Their forgiving nature allows new businesses to save costs and time through testing and offer entrepreneurs a way to explore potential new markets and directions to take their companies in.