Here’s a roundup of the best advice we’ve published on the DYNAMIC FUTURE website over the past year. Our expert tips will help you make better use of available technologies, and make your work more efficient. Discover why dynamic simulations are becoming essential for accurate planning, and how you can overcome the common limitations of using Excel in business.

Excel versus modern simulations

Even though Excel has been used by companies for many years, and is irreplaceable in many ways, modern technologies such as dynamic simulations and digital twins are beginning to show its limits. A tool traditionally used for a wide range of tasks, Excel boasts versatility, but when it comes to more complex predictions and process modelling, it cannot compete with more advanced simulations. These more modern tools offer better time management and less simplification, leading to more accurate results

Petr Jalůvka says: “Excel still remains much more popular than simulations. Actually, it’s possible to carry out simulations in it to some extent. However, in principle, it requires a lot of simplifications and, most importantly, it can’t work with time management.”

To better illustrate, the DYNAMIC FUTURE Company Representative uses an analogy with cars:

“Previously, the driver had to control a lot of things while driving, there was no automatic choke, shifting, opening, safety features. Today, all you have to do is press the right button, turn the steering wheel, and increase or decrease the speed.”

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The market suffers from a lack of experts

In Petr Jalůvka’s opinion, what is the situation in the field of education simulations at universities? In the interview, which you can find on our blog, he states that it’s gradually improving, but the market still feels the lack of qualified simulation specialists. “Teaching is challenging, but at the same time, key to the future needs of the market,” he states

Emphasis is placed on adapting educational programmes to better reflect the current needs of industry and technological progress. It’s important that schools not only teach the basic principles, but also provide students with hands-on involvement in simulations and modelling.

WITNESS is taught today at most universities in the Czech and Slovak Republics. We meet with their graduates who, as managers of various companies, approach us saying that they want to buy a simulation tool because they know it from school, says Jalůvka. And when asked why there is a lack of people capable of working with dynamic simulations in companies, he says: “Honestly, they are often in the company, but in reality, they’re also given a lot of other tasks than working with simulations. Then they don’t simulate anything new for a year, and that’s bad. One loses that expertise, loses contact with reality, and the company loses the money it invested in acquiring digital twins. It’s like they bought a luxury car and then only went to the garage to polish it.

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Creativity brings mistakes

Excessive complexity and digitization of processes in companies often lead to the creation of many systems and subsystems, which opens the door to errors and complications in tracking data flows.

“The more creative people are in companies, and I don’t mean that in a bad way, the more systems and subsystems they can invent. This creates a huge space for errors and, moreover, no one can find out where, how, and why the data is created,” Jalůvka explains.

A major problem, he points out, is data “dating,” where employees manipulate information without a clear understanding of its purpose or ultimate recipient. At the same time, many of these actions could be automated, leading to more efficient and accurate data processing.

“We often hear that working with data is historically given. So, someone transcribes something into a notebook, someone else has to sign it, then the data is entered into the computer, the outputs have to be printed, signed again, and copies saved. And the same needs to be written into Excel and some information system. One beep of the reader would be enough,” Jalůvka adds.

This situation also increases the risk of “optimizing” data according to stated goals, which can lead to wrong decisions and a loss of trust. As Jalůvka states, many managers are not aware of how much time employees spend unnecessarily transferring data, which is inefficient and counterproductive.

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Successful WMS implementation

Jan Šlajer, Company Representative of DYNAMIC FUTURE, and an expert in the implementation of warehouse management systems (WMS), emphasizes the importance of thorough planning before implementing these systems. He explains that while WMS systems are not cheap and are often chosen mainly on the basis of price, they can take months, or even years, to successfully implement and finetune.

“Let’s face it, WMS is not cheap. Nevertheless, it is often chosen based on the price. And its introduction and tuning are not just a matter of weeks, but rather of months, and sometimes even a year,” Šlajer says.

He emphasizes that the key to success is an understanding of current processes and a clear vision of their future direction.

“If [WMS] is to improve processes, you need to know how they are currently working for you before actually implementing it. You need to know not only the target state, but also the starting state. That’s why we always recommend doing a study of existing processes, then a vision of where I want to move them and, based on this information, choose a system,” he says. This approach ensures that the WMS will effectively serve its purpose, and improve the efficiency and productivity of warehouse operations

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Ambitious plans with blinders on 

In the blog, Jan Šlajer comments on the case of a company that faced problems when expanding production. The business in question didn’t take into account the dynamic simulation outputs, resulting in production and deliveries in lower volumes than planned, and significantly limiting the room for growth.

“The first major problem was that [the customer] asked us late for help. The second was that he ignored our recommendations. Someone estimated something off the table, and calculated a fictitious return on investment in the new hall and its equipment. During implementation, he discovered that the estimate was not correct, and he couldn’t count on the original return. But there was no time for changes and modifications,” Šlajer explains

According to Šlajer, these problems could have been avoided if the outputs of the simulation model had been properly considered and possible solutions proposed, such as renting an external warehouse. By ignoring these suggestions and with overly ambitious plans, the company faces blocking its future development, and limiting economic growth. “The company paid the price for an overly ambitious plan and wearing blinders by blocking future development and, of course, economic growth,” Šlajer adds.

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