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Simulation is the artificial representation of a practical exercise or a system. It entails testing the viability and feasibility of a process using a model before actual implementation, in order to understand real-life situations and conceptualize the whole operation from the starting to the ending points of the process, as well as the intended outcome of the process. Simulation occasionally necessitates that a process model be formulated before the actual simulation and the model is intended to denote the real physical features and activities of the practical process. Modelling encompasses the establishment of an abstract illustration of reality.

The functions of modelling and simulation are to help the involved persons analyze and comprehend the perceived phenomena, test the hypotheses and theories held about the possibility of the intended exercise, assists in the forecast of systems behaviour when subjected to different situations and scenarios that can either be the existing conditions and simulated practice carried out to support decision-making. Modelling and simulation are also to enable discoveries of new functioning methods and data phenomena that are supported by distinctive abilities of computer experiments.

1.1Literature Review

This paper focuses on the simulation and modelling involving a registration process comprising 1000 students who are expected to register in different societies during Societies Day. Students are expected to sign up in at least one of the five available societies within 8 hours. The societies include Film Society, Football Society, Water Sports Society, Information Society and Extreme Ironing Society. Currently, the society preference profile of the distribution of the students signing up is as follows: Film Society 28%, Football Society 34%, Water-sports Society 28%, Information Society 5% and Extreme Ironing Society taking 5%. This, therefore, means that there will be more students queuing up to sign up in football, film and water sports societies respectively than those projected to sign up in Information and Extreme Ironing societies. Consequently, it is important for the society manager to note that there is a need for more volunteers to ensure that the students do not line up for long before they are registered in their societies of choice.

This simulation and modelling seeks to experiment and identify the best model of registering students if: (1) a single queue is used for all the students with one volunteer hired to carry out the registration; (2) if separate registration points are set for different societies with multiple volunteers in each station. By the end of this simulation and modelling, the society manager will be in a position to tell the best method to use and how many people are required to serve students signing up in each of the societies. This article presents background material on simulation, its relation to modelling, the technology of simulation, and some practical applications in simulation model development. It also looks into how useful simulation modelling is in resource planning for process.

2. Model Development

Simulation Data

Simulation Run

1 day (8 hours)

Number of Students

1000

Inter-Arrival Time (fixed)

0.40

Society Preference Profile

Film Society

28%

Football Society

34%

Water Sports Society

28%

Information Society

5%

Extreme Ironing Society

5%

Time to Register (min)

Film Society

9

Football Society

15

Water Sports Society

11

Information Society

14

Extreme Ironing Society

20

2.1 Model I: One Queue for All Societies

Overview

This is where the manager opts to use one volunteer sitting in one working station and one queue to register all the 1000 students. The volunteer will hold all the forms required to register for all the societies, and will be choosing the right form to use depending on the client at the desk. This means that the registration officer will be shifting from one type of registration form to the next, and this is likely to take much time between each client other than high possibility of making errors. Depending on the simulation data and the number of hours set for the exercise, it is clear that a day will end without the 340 students meant to join a football society finishing signing up. The process will be like the model shown below.

2.2 Model II: Single Queue for Each Society

Overview

In this model, the registration manager will separate the societies by having five registration points, each covering a specific society. For example, there will be five tables in this process where Film Society, Football Society, Water Sports Society, Information Society and Extreme Ironing Society will have a table, each without mixing the students. Every table will contain only the relevant forms for signing up, which may in turn improve efficiency and the turnaround time to utilize the limited registration time available. It is possible for the registration volunteers to take only the planned time per client. Depending on the preference profile, this model will consider hiring two volunteers to handle registration for the students intended to sign up for the football society. This will make their registration be complete in four hours instead of eight, if done by a single person, and it will ensure that the whole process of signing up is finished in less than eight hours. The model below outlines the process.

3. Discussion

Considering the two models, Model I will consume much time to sign up all the students than Model II. It means that not all students will be registered within the eight hours allocated for the process. This is due to the higher number of students willing to sign up for a football society, each taking 15 minutes and consequently translating to 8 hours 30 minutes to finish the registration. This is above the time limit given. This means that two students will be signed up the following day, if such an arrangement is made, despite them standing in line for the whole day. Similarly, there are high chances of making errors during the registration process by either forms mixing up or the volunteer signing up students in societies other than their choice.

4. Reflection: How Useful is Simulation Modelling for Resource Planning Process

Simulation is a tool that is used to manage change by identifying the possible challenges that can be experienced in an actual process, and is a way of accelerating change, owing to the fact that all the foreseen limitations and barriers are addressed before implementation. Simulation has the ability to clarify the reasons why one model is chosen but not the other. For example, in this case, it provides reasons for why model II is preferred to model I, and shows how the answer was arrived at through the calculation of the time spent on each student, dividing by the number of hours allocated. This method led to the determination of the number of volunteers needed to efficiently fulfill the task. Simulation also helps in tracing the process and the intended outcomes, as well as enabling the society manager to generate clarifications for the decisions made.

Simulation is an element of a business rule that drives operations of a business, system or process. It provides a solution to both on-line and off-line on-going management problems by making decisions that help in forecasting the impact of the change. Formalizing and experimenting with the models make the automation of system and business regulations more widespread. In the design of new business rules, simulation gives a chance to confirm that processes will be implemented as designed. 

Simulation permits effective utilization of organizational advancement programs, such as the use of Six Sigma. The activities of defining, measuring, analysing, improving, and controlling depend on the solemn participation of all the parties involved to ensure that quality is achieved. The last three elements that entail analysis, improvement and control are concerned with the identification of causes of the system, developing new procedures and practices to run the process, and setting controls mechanisms in place that ensure high quality is maintained. Equally, simulation plays a significant role in minimizing the risk of change by managing change. 

Benefits of Simulation and Modelling

Simulation and modelling in this case is beneficial for control of the signing up process, for it ensures that all students line up to have an orderly exercise. It also helps in compressing time, by ensuring that less time is consumed in the process, such as in the case with registering football society members when registration time was reduced from 8 hours to 4 hours. If this simulation modelling had not been put in place, the society manager would have been engaged in a tiring and incomplete exercise. Or he would have had to hire more registration officers than was initially required. It also helps in experimentation where sensitive analysis is made based on the outcomes of the two processes, and leads to a guided decision on which model is the best.  Modelling offer training to the members involved, since it helps the concerned parties to conceptualise the actual process before implementation.

Apart from the benefits, simulation also allows the society manager to learn and investigate the practice by using a system that offers a more insightful experience. It helps the manager notice how results change with the change of the system, and gives deep understanding of the link between the key areas of the process, which in this case is an accurate, timely and cost-effective exercise. Investigation of the viability and practicability of the process is also done before actual implementation, thus enabling the manager to train the six volunteers to be conversant with the flow of registration process. This makes them be mentally prepared to the long hours they are expected to work.

Disadvantages of Simulation and Modelling

Simulation and modelling also has its limitations that include consumption of time and money to formulate models and experiment. These models took several hours that could have been utilized in other areas. Costly expertise is another limitation, since the six staff members to carry out the signing up procedure are hired, and this requires analysis of the simulation data to be able to come up with the best process. The models imitate interactions of events of demand, planning of service measures, planning for the supply of human resources needed in the process, attrition of resources, and execution of service orders to appraise business performance.  The models approximate serviceability, quality, costs, and benefits of the societies to the students. Similarly, the models are employed in evaluating efficacy of several analyses, resource management and policies, which allow for integration of the components of the framework.

Simulation Modelling for Resource Planning for Process Improvement

Supply Planning of Resources

The simulation analysis of the queuing period and the signing up process led to the decision being made on human resource allocation. The aim of the experiment was to condense the amount of time students will take for signing up, as well as improve general service delivery. For the registration in the societies, the simulation and modelling allowed the manager to realise that six volunteers were needed to efficiently register the 1000 students, and two more volunteers were needed to handle students registering for the football society. This was due to the analysis forecasting that one registration officer would take more than a day to finish the process, unlike in other societies where it could be finished within the allocated 8 hours. The group was, therefore, allocated two officers to efficiently finish the work and improve the quality of the process. The responsibility of supply planning is to carry out Resource Capacity Planning (RCP) that ensures that there are no shortages or surpluses in the allocation of resources.

Demand Planning of Service Engagements

Demand planning creates estimated demand by assigning a type to a service product line, depending on the time allocation and the size of demand. In this case, the society preferences profile forecast high demand for the football, film and water sports societies, thus leading to the planning for higher allocation of human resource and other materials, such as work stations and stationery for the registration of a football society as a product line. This forecasting could be a result of the past demand patterns or projected business growth and commitment opportunities.

Conclusion

Simulation and modelling involves artificial imitation of a real life process through experimentation. This is a very important exercise that allows the involved parties to forecast and test the practicability of the system or the process before the actual implementation Simulation and modelling in this case concerns a registration process that comprises 1000 students who are expected to register in different societies during Societies Day. Students are expected to sign up in at least one of the five available societies within 8 hours which include Film Society, Football Society, Water Sports Society, Information Society and Extreme Ironing Society. Two models will be utilized whereby the society manager uses one queue and one volunteer, and another model whereby each society uses separate queues. This process is beneficial for control, time compressing, training and resource planning, as well as allocation for process improvements.

 

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