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ONEgas Uses SAP System Data for System Dynamics Flight Simulator

ONEgas is a company owned by Shell and NAM and is responsible for gas production in the Netherlands. This modeling effort focused on the maintenance process in ONEgas. The maintenance processes at the ONEgas platforms are supported by the SAP PM module. After the implementation of SAP Blueprint it turned out to be difficult to improve the performance of the maintenance process. Uncovering the structure behind the large amount of data captured in the SAP system was thought to be a necessary to identify improvements.

Four facilitated system dynamics (group model building) sessions were held at ONEgas. The model was constructed over a period of seven months, integrated participants’ opinions with SAP system data.

After testing and validation the model was used to test improvements in maintenance in different scenarios. Recommendations focused on capacity for work preparation and base crew, purchase time for material and effective working hours. Final results were captured in a report, presentation to management and a management flight simulator.

An extensive evaluation shows that participants have increased their insight into the maintenance process and are committed to implementing recommendations. The direct client was highly satisfied with the outcomes of the modeling effort.

In summary, the benefits delivered in this case are more insight into the maintenance process in ONEgas and recommendations on how to improve its performance. Participants in the model building process indicate their confidence in conclusions and willingness to implement recommended changes.

Client ONEgas
Authors/Consultants Venderbosch T, Rouwette E

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More Information

Venderbosch, T. (2007). Using Group Model Building to optimize the maintenance process in an ERP environment at ONEgas. Unpublished master thesis, Radboud University Nijmegen, Nijmegen.

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Kenya District Uses System Dynamics To Manage Water Resources

Sustainable management of natural resources is a vital concern in most countries and regions worldwide. In Laikipia District in Kenya, located at the foothill zone of Mt. Kenya, water is required in the upper zone for irrigation agriculture, horticultures and livestock production as well as for urban areas. In the lower zone water is required for wildlife and natural habitats.

In an earlier study (Gallati 2008) a system dynamics model has been developed to better understand possible dynamics in collective irrigation management focusing on the feedbacks between social mechanisms of collective action and the performance of the irrigation practices. In Laikipia, however, it turned out that this model was not applicable due to the fact that large immigration had taken place in the last decades preventing inhabitants from developing close relations of exchange and reciprocity, which had been key preconditions of this model.

A stakeholder workshop in 2009 revealed that the transition towards new water management practices is one of the key concerns in the area.

Based on these insights a system dynamics model has been developed to demonstrate the effect of new water management practices in different zones along the river reflecting the fact of varying rainfall and agricultural options from uphill to downhill zone and down to the plains. In particular the users can experiment with different options such as storage capacity, increase of water use efficiency, use of flood flow, adaptation of agricultural practices, etc.
in order to analyze the effect of these practices on overall production and income. As such it is envisaged to support local participants in adopting a river (basin) perspective. The usefulness of the model is being evaluated in a second stakeholder workshop in 2010. Based on this experience further model development will be evaluated. One option is to further develop the model into a tool for broader use in capacity building and training for sustainable water management in collaboration with local or international institutions.

The project is developed in collaboration with CETRAD (Centre for Training and Integrated Research in Arid and Semi-Arid Areas Development; www.cetrad.org) in Nanyuki, Kenya and is part of a larger research initiative on sustainable natural resources management. It is supported by NCCR North-South in Switzerland, which is funded by the Swiss Development Agency and the Swiss National Fund.

Contact and further information: Justus Gallati, Lucerne University of Applied Sciences justus.gallati@hslu.ch.

Client CETRAD
Author/Consultant Gallati J

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More Information

Gallati J. 2008. Towards an improved understanding of collective irrigation management: a System Dynamics approach. [PhD Dissertation]. Berne Switzerland: University of Berne.

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Pharma Company Uses System Dynamics Dashboard to Manage Product Life-Cycle

A leading global pharmaceutical company wanted to understand the interdependencies between resource levels and experience through the life-cycle of drug products. It was also interested in the impact of organisational design on its ability to manage the product pipeline.

In a series of workshops, we developed further an internal qualitative model of the system and produced a quantitative simulation tool for assessment of the likely impact of investment in resources & training. This project model enabled multiple drug products to be evaluated throughout their life-cycle as they affect resource requirements (numbers of people, experience etc) and also to assess the relationships between organisation capabilities and life-cycle progress and success.

The work built on a number of previous engagements with the client and benefited greatly from the experience gained by the modeller and the client team. Using large-scale posters of model overview diagrams, the modelling team were able to bring into the design and development phase a number of senior executives with the experience required in order to gain confidence in the approach.

The organisation now has a quantitative model in which to evaluate the possible impact of investment in resources, training etc on the product portfolio and, ultimately, on profitability. We delivered a comprehensive “cockpit” user interface enabling involvement by non-expert users and model development continues in the light of user feedback.

The effective management of product life-cycles is of critical importance to pharmaceuticals, made worse by the ‘ticking clock’ of the patent life for a drug. Better management of this issue can be worth many millions of dollars for a single product, and since this project enhances decision-making across numerous products, it is delivering very considerable overall value.

Client Anonymous Pharmaceutical Company
Authors/Consultants Jones L (Ventana Systems UK)

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More Information

For more information on this case, please contact Lee Jones at Ventana Systems UK.

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The most efficient way to align your needs with our offerings is to schedule a meeting with our Executive Director, Rebecca Niles

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Alk-Abello Revises Strategy For Lost Product and Recovers Profits in Two Years

The Issue You Tackled

The company faces total loss of sales for a consumer medical device – very well known amongst the 100,000 users and doctors – with the ending of a patent in 2010. It has developed a replacement product, but faces the challenge of migrating patients and doctors from the existing brand, which will have to happen very fast. What kind of marketing and sales effort should be made, over what period of time, with what likely results?

What You Actually Did

The project started with a one-day workshop with the four person management team, mapping the resources involved – patients, doctors, specialists, sales force – estimating key numbers and causal relationships. The second step was a three week modeling effort between one expert and two key executives. The third and last step involved a half-day workshop reviewing and confirming results, and testing strategy options.

The Results

The project resulted in several benefits to the company. An initial idea – to capture patients via a website proved impossible because usage would be too low, and their engagement with the new brand limited. Direct sales effort and marketing to doctors would not work, because the medical condition was too rare to engage their interest.

The solution was to involve specialists in the routine training-updates that doctors have to undertake, then follow up with sales calls to those specific doctors who had attended the training. This would require five times the previously estimated cost and effort, but deliver attractive results. Current sales volume, worth €1 million in annual profits, would disappear with the loss of the current product.

Pre-existing plans would fail to rebuild more than half this profit over three years, and lose most of the market to competitors. The revised strategy, though costly, would more than recover the existing profits in two years, due to the better profit margin on the new product.

Name Medical Device Company
Modeler Kim Warren
Contact For more information on this case, please contact Kim Warren at Strategy Dynamics.
Client ALK-Abello, Denmark
Client Type Corporation

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Talk with Us

The most efficient way to align your needs with our offerings is to schedule a meeting with our Executive Director, Rebecca Niles

Engage a Systems Consultant

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Sarawak Redefines State Priorities with System Dynamics

The Issue You Tackled

The Centre for Operational Research & Applied Statistics at the University of Salford was awarded a contract during 2003-2005 to offer a more scientific basis on which to formulate future economic and social policy in Sarawak, East Malaysia. The direct project clients were members of the State Planning Unit (SPU). The State, on the northern coast of Borneo, was a former British colony which joined the federated nation of Malaysia in 1963. The purpose of the model was to help government officials manage a change from a predominantly resource based economy to a knowledge based one.

What You Actually Did

A team consisting of a project director, scientific director, development economist and two research assistants gradually secured the information needed to construct the model. A prototype model derived from a high-level map was developed quickly at an early stage in the project. Regular presentations were made as the model was developed, culminating in a special conference of senior State government officials and the modeling team when the final report was presented. The final model consisted of 15 sectors and around 450 equations and mappings. A microworld was constructed around the model to aid its use by non-technical officers. The primary aim was to elevate the standard of modeling used by State Government officials.

Malaysia as a whole is a planned economy which needs a more scientific basis for constructing their 5-yearly plans. The need to improve, substantially, the education system, involving fewer school drop-outs and more significant progression to higher education, particularly in the sciences, were strong features of model runs. Also, there was emphasis on the State incubating R&D schemes which would absorb the increased numbers of scientifically skilled graduates. Perhaps an over-riding conclusion was that we had exposed and convinced government officials as to the merits of SD as a methodology in this sphere of application.

The Results

It is difficult to place a monetary value on its impact. However, the potential benefits to the economy as a whole arising from enhancements to the education system and the incubation of successful enterprise are considerable. The project implanted an awareness and knowledge of SD in Sarawak and in Malaysia more widely – the Borneo Post carried a headline “Government to introduce System Dynamics model” explaining the project and its outcomes.

Name State Planning in Sarawak
Modeler Brian Dangerfield
Client Sarawak State Planning Unit
Client Type Government

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Publications

A System Dynamics Model for Economic Planning in Sarawak Download
System Dynamics Advances Strategic Economic Transition Planning in a Developing Nation Download

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LET US BE PART OF YOUR JOURNEY

Do you want to lead your organization into the future by overcoming paradigms and creating change? With Systems Thinking and System Dynamics you will enable powerful decision-making and find the leverage points to improve profits, strategy, efficiency, sustainability, and more.

Rebecca Niles

Talk with Us

The most efficient way to align your needs with our offerings is to schedule a meeting with our Executive Director, Rebecca Niles

Engage a Systems Consultant

Looking for a Systems Consultant? Fill out this form and we will follow up with a call and, soon enough, the right person for the job.

Experience Systems Thinking

Bring in a facilitator to unleash the power of Systems Thinking in your organization. Fill out this form for a Beer Game facilitator and join the companies, and graduate and MBA programs that play this game all over the world. Contact us if a facilitator for a different game is needed.

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Start Learning

Join the WPI Sytem Dynamics Fundamentals Course to understand the causes of dynamic behavior at a basiic level and much more! The course is self-led and self-paced.

Strategic Supply Chain Investments at Pharmaceutical Company

A global pharmaceuticals company wanted to evaluate future supply-chain options for a group of drug products.

In a series of workshops held with knowledgeable personnel over a six week period, the team (comprising the modeller and all workshop attendees) developed a simple simulation to help understand the likely implications of organisational change involving a significant capital investment. The model centred on several aspects of the change, including co-location of a number of pharmaceutical production facilities and the possible impact of changes in the structure of the organisation on the ability of the supply chain to satisfy future customer demand while reducing overall stock levels. It had been thought that a simulation of the possible impact of moving from the AS-IS to the TO-BE organisation would help the decision-makers but that the traditional simulation approach used by the organisation would not be able to report in time for a major decision point in the investment project. The model’s results were reviewed at each stage and amendments made to reflect feedback from participants.

Final scenario runs included sensitivity analysis and presented the possible performance range of selected Key Performance Indicators.

The model was able to demonstrate the likely improvement in performance between the AS-IS and the TO-BE scenarios, both in stock reduction and in the reducing manufacturing cycle times and the conclusions were presented to senior decision-makers during their next meeting on the subject.

The work was completed in a short period of time and was vital to the correct investment of many millions of dollars that would not have been evident from conventional analysis.

The success was due to an effective synergy between the client and modeller; the former having the relevant expert knowledge and enthusiasm, the latter having considerable experience of pharmaceutical industry modelling.

Client Anonymous pharmaceutical company
Authors/Consultants Jones L (Ventana Systems UK)

Do you want to know more?

More Information

For more information on this case, please contact Lee Jones at Ventana Systems UK.

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Join us

LET US BE PART OF YOUR JOURNEY

Do you want to lead your organization into the future by overcoming paradigms and creating change? With Systems Thinking and System Dynamics you will enable powerful decision-making and find the leverage points to improve profits, strategy, efficiency, sustainability, and more.

Rebecca Niles

Talk with Us

The most efficient way to align your needs with our offerings is to schedule a meeting with our Executive Director, Rebecca Niles

Engage a Systems Consultant

Looking for a Systems Consultant? Fill out this form and we will follow up with a call and, soon enough, the right person for the job.

Experience Systems Thinking

Bring in a facilitator to unleash the power of Systems Thinking in your organization. Fill out this form for a Beer Game facilitator and join the companies, and graduate and MBA programs that play this game all over the world. Contact us if a facilitator for a different game is needed.

WPI System Dynamics Fundamentals micro-course 1

Start Learning

Join the WPI Sytem Dynamics Fundamentals Course to understand the causes of dynamic behavior at a basiic level and much more! The course is self-led and self-paced.

INCOSE UK Uses System Dynamics for Strategy Planning

The Official Website

strategydynamics.com is the official website in which you can become a member and get familiar with the services.

The Issue You Tackled

INCOSE is the International Council on Systems Engineering (SE) representing an interdisciplinary field that focuses on how complex projects should be designed and managed. INCOSE UK, like its counterparts in other countries, has grown strongly over recent years, as the benefits of professional systems engineering have become clear.

Although the organization had a well-written strategy document, it needed to turn this into a clear and quantified set of outcomes, and an equally clear set of actions that would lead to these outcomes.

What You Actually Did

The members of INCOSE UK’s Board had already produced a rough causal map of how they believed their organization worked – how skilled SEs were developed, why members joined, what impact their professional work had made and so on. They were interviewed to get identify what objectives they felt INCOSE UK should have, of what scale, and over what time.

They were then asked to estimate key indicators of the organization’s state and how this was developing over time. This included, for example, the number of significant projects on which SE is applied, the number of qualified practitioners, the number of organizations who adopted formal SE methods, and so on.

Lastly, they were asked to estimate the rate at which these features of the SE field in the UK could potentially develop, and what factors would bring about that progress.

Two rounds of team meetings compared and distilled these estimates into an integrated, quantified map of how the INCOSE UK ‘system’ has worked and might be developed.

The Results

The INCOSE UK system diagram, agreed by the Board, displayed a quantified picture of how the organization might develop systems engineering in the UK. This included a detailed, time-phased action plan to increase the visibility of SE, to grow demand for SE work, to encourage education and training of SE professionals, and to grow INCOSE membership and activity. Note that a working system dynamics simulation model was not regarded as necessary for INCOSE UK to have high confidence in the conclusions and recommendations of the study.

Since INCOSE is a professional membership organization, rather than a commercial firm, the project’s value will show up in the achievement of the aims included in the strategic plan, in particular in terms of visibility, impact and growth of the profession. As at end-2009, indicators of all these factors are running well ahead of expectations.

Name International Council on Systems Engineering
Modelers Kim Warren
Contact For more information on this case, please contact Kim Warren at Strategy Dynamics.
Client International Council on Systems Engineering
Client Type NGO

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Join us

LET US BE PART OF YOUR JOURNEY

Do you want to lead your organization into the future by overcoming paradigms and creating change? With Systems Thinking and System Dynamics you will enable powerful decision-making and find the leverage points to improve profits, strategy, efficiency, sustainability, and more.

Rebecca Niles

Talk with Us

The most efficient way to align your needs with our offerings is to schedule a meeting with our Executive Director, Rebecca Niles

Engage a Systems Consultant

Looking for a Systems Consultant? Fill out this form and we will follow up with a call and, soon enough, the right person for the job.

Experience Systems Thinking

Bring in a facilitator to unleash the power of Systems Thinking in your organization. Fill out this form for a Beer Game facilitator and join the companies, and graduate and MBA programs that play this game all over the world. Contact us if a facilitator for a different game is needed.

WPI System Dynamics Fundamentals micro-course 1

Start Learning

Join the WPI Sytem Dynamics Fundamentals Course to understand the causes of dynamic behavior at a basiic level and much more! The course is self-led and self-paced.

UK Government Uses System Dynamics to Forecast Employment Impact

The Urban Dynamic Model (UDM) is a simulation of how transport interacts with population, employment and land-use over long periods of time, typically ten years or more. It was developed to help understand how transport could contribute to economic regeneration by improving the ability of employers to recruit a workforce and their access to customers and suppliers, and by improving access to employment opportunities.
For example, the vicious circle of congestion is familiar to us all but is almost impossible to capture in traditional models. In short, the cycle includes improved transport which reduces travel time, making businesses easier to access for customers, generating increased employment, leading to more transport activity and increased congestion.

The UDM was developed over a number of years, beginning with a fairly simple model built in 2000. This was used in one of a series of large scale transport studies commissioned by the government at the time. Its role at that time was to test the regeneration claims being made for a proposed by-pass that would have passed through an area of outstanding natural beauty. Models of this type must be able to represent the spatial characteristics of the study area, usually using a zone structure, and the road and public transport links connecting the zones together. Other applications followed, and then in 2005 we were commissioned by the Department for transport to carry out a study into the impact of transport on business location decisions. Current guidance from the Department for Transport emphasises the wider role of transport in supporting the economy, but also points to the need for reducing carbon dioxide emissions.

The UDM is generic, and has been applied widely in the UK with local authorities. Conclusions vary from one application to another, but some of the findings we have reported include measures to generate employment can appear to have a significant effect if examined very locally, but we often find that some employment is transferred from elsewhere, and the net effect can be less than might first appear, city centres remain the best locations for many types of employer because they provide the best access to a workforce and bring ‘agglomeration’ benefits that employers enjoy by being clustered together. Studies of major programmes of transport investment typically involve expenditure of tens or hundreds of millions of pounds. The measured benefits are usually expressed in money, and expressing both the social and economic impacts of investment and can also run to hundreds of millions of pounds.

Client UK local authorities
Authors/Consultants Swanson J (Sdgworld; Steer Davies Gleave)

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More Information

For more information on this case, please contact John Swanson at Sdgworld, or see this link.

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Energy Consumer Industries Look for Alternatives Under Climate Policy Regulations

Four industries – iron and steel, aluminum, paper and pulp, and chemicals – account for nearly half of the energy consumed by U.S. manufacturing industries and over 10 percent of total U.S. energy consumption, making them highly vulnerable to volatile energy prices. Millennium Institute and High Road Strategies collaborated on three connected study commissioned by the National Commission on Energy Policy, the Environmental Defense Fund and AFL-CIO Working for America Institute (WAI) and developed with support from industry association organizations, to examine how increased energy prices associated with comprehensive and mandatory cap-and-trade climate policy proposals currently being considered by the U.S. Congress would affect the competitiveness of these industries in the long term. The studies also examined the industries’ capabilities and opportunities to mitigate adverse cost impacts and improve their economic performance under different climate policy scenarios.

In short, the findings strongly suggest that over the long-run, technologies are available to enable energy-intensive industries to achieve sufficient efficiency gains to offset and manage the additional energy costs arising from a climate policy. However, the authors also strongly believe that the industries analyzed will need additional measures that both mitigate these cost impacts in the short-to-medium term, and policies that encourage and facilitate the transition of energy-reliant companies to a low-carbon future, while enhancing their competitiveness in global markets.

Findings of these studies being circulated starting from Aril 2009 are substantially contributing to the debate on the introduction of climate regulations, both in the US and abroad.

Client National Commission on Energy Policy, Environmental Defense Fund, WAI
Authors/Consultants Bassi AM, Yudken JS

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More Information

Yudken J.S. and Bassi A.M. (2009). Climate change and US Competitiveness. Issues in Science and Technology, Fall Issue.
Bassi A.M. and Yudken J.S. (2009). Potential challenges faced by the U.S. chemicals industry under a carbon policySustainability 1: 592-611. Special issue on Energy Policy and Sustainability.

Yudken J.S. and Bassi J.S. (2009). Climate policy and energy-intensive manufacturing: the competitiveness impacts of the American energy and security act of 2009. High Road Strategies and Millennium Institute, February 2010, Washington DC, USA. Prepared for the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF).

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Mauritius Government Takes Integrated Approach on Energy Policy

Under the leadership of the Ministry of Renewable Energy and Public Utilities of the Republic of Mauritius and with support from UNDP, the Millennium Institute (MI) has carried out an assignment on supporting formulation and evaluation of Mauritius’ longer term energy policy framework. The goal of this project is to empower the Ministry of Renewable Energy and Public Utilities, and the Government of Mauritius, with a flexible, integrated, dynamic and user-friendly uniquely customized simulation model that allows for the evaluation of energy policy proposals to make informed decisions on longer term policy planning. This model was jointly developed with a team of experts, including representatives from Ministry of Public Infrastructure, Land Transport and Shipping, the Central Electricity Board (CEB), the Electrical Services Division (ESD), the Mauritius Sugar Industry Research Institute (MSIRI), the Central Statistics Office (CSO), the Maurice Ile Durable (MID) Fund, the University of Technology Mauritius (UTM).

Because of its flexibility and ease of use, in addition to its integrated and dynamic nature, the Mauritius Model allows for a cross sectoral analysis of the impacts of the energy policy provisions, with simulations running from 1990 to 2025.

This is important when operating in such a rapidly changing environment and volatile time.

The project included continuous group modeling sessions and daily exchanges with key stakeholders, to end with a two-day workshop and with a presentation to the Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Mauritius.

Results of the analysis proved to be of considerable value to the Ministry of Renewable Energy and Public Utilities, and led to an update of the longer-term energy policy document later approved. The utilization of an integrated, cross sectoral, national development model also served to bring together several ministries, the private sector and universities to jointly analyze results, both opportunities and challenges, arising from the implementation of the energy strategy.

More information on this case can be found in Bassi A.M. (2009). Systems modeling of long term energy policy, Mauritius. Prepared for the Ministry of Renewable Energy and Public Utilities, Republic of Mauritius, and UNDP Country Office Mauritius and Seychelles, Port Louis.

Client Ministry of Renewable Energy and Public Utilities, Mauritius
Authors/Consultants Bassi AM, Bainac K, Bokhoree C, Deenapanray P

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