ProModel and MedModel Optimization Suites 2018

Kevin Field

Kevin Field – Product Manager

This past December we released ProModel and MedModel 2018. You can see all the updates for each product at their respective “What’s New” website pages:

ProModel 2018 – What’s New?
MedModel 2018 – What’s New?

Please click on the video below to see some of the highlights of what’s new in ProModel/MedModel 2018.

ProModel and MedModel Simulation technologies and services help to plan, design and improve manufacturing, logistics and healthcare systems. They accurately represent real-world processes, including their inherent variability and interdependencies, in order to rapidly and easily conduct predictive analysis on multiple scenarios. You can virtually optimize your systems around your key performance indicators, before investing in any changes.

carilion 3rd floor

Proposed Hospital Floor Layout

ProModel Proposed Future Assembly Idea Zf_2.mod

Proposed Mfg Layout

This new release focused on significantly enhancing the UI as well as improving access and navigation to build modules, which helps reduce modeling time.

Here are just a couple of the new features and functionality:

Ribbon UI

The traditional menus and toolbars have been replaced with a fluent Ribbon bar like the one you find in Microsoft Office applications. The new Ribbon makes it easier to access the various modules and features within the application and better facilitate touch screen and high-resolution devices.

PM2018 Ribbon Toolbar

Quick Access Toolbar

Add highly used ribbon buttons to the Quick Access Toolbar (QAT) for fast and easy access to the program functionality they provide (located in the upper left corner of the application). Either select an option from the Customize menu or right-click on a button in the ribbon and choose to add it to the QAT.

customize-quick-access-toolbar

Docking Windows

Windows are now docked within the new workspace interface, which means that when you adjust the size of one window, the others automatically resize accordingly. Say goodbye to overlapping windows. You can also stack windows on top of each other and quickly access them from their respective tab thus saving valuable view space. Windows even proportionally adjust when you resize the entire application.

docking-windows

You can also learn more about this release at the recording of the What’s New? Webinar  as well as a recent ProModel | MedModel 2018 Refresher Training webinar.

Don’t forget, you can also read about all the updates for each product at their respective “What’s New” website pages:

ProModel 2018 – What’s New?       MedModel 2018 – What’s New?

We would love to hear your feedback so please feel free to leave a comment below or to contact me with your thoughts and suggestions at kfield@promodel.com.  Happy Modeling!


American Food Manufacturer Shows Packaging and Palletizing Improves Production and Plans for Growth with the Use of Simulation

CHALLENGES

An American food manufacturing facility was looking to buy a new palletizer for their packaging/palletizing floor. The manufacturing group needed to perform a capacity analysis of the 13 existing palletizers in the facility which supported 29 production lines. The company was facing challenges keeping up with consumer demand for their popular products. ProModel was brought in to build a pilot model of the packaging and palletizing floor.

OBJECTIVES

The first set of objectives were to analyze and understand the following elements of the current operations:

  1. Case type throughput for an eight-hour shift
  2. Packaging line downtimes
  3. Palletizer utilization

The next set of objectives involved analyzing the impact of different changes to the system:

  1. Cases per pallet
  2. Conveyor length
  3. Adjusting palletizer downtimes

SOLUTION

A ProModel consultant and the company’s personnel worked together to build a pilot model. Packing lines to conveyors to palletizers are represented in the simulation model shown below.

The diagram does not reflect the actual conveyor layouts, but by using data provided by the company, actual conveyor speeds and distances were taken into consideration. The conveyors and palletizers being considered for future expansion were also included in the model.

SS-Palletizer-Improvement_Image_3

More changes to the system can be analyzed since the simulation model is extremely customizable. For example, as additional downtime information is collected, the model can be dialed in to better reflect actual operations. The model allows for other process changes over time too like cycle times, introduction of new cases and new palletizers.

As a result of the success of the pilot model, this company and ProModel will be working together to model another palletizing floor of the facility. The one change that the client requested is that actual conveyor layouts be reflected in this second model to better illustrate how they impact production flow.

VALUE PROVIDED

The company has a model of each palletizing floor. These models can be connected and the organization can test and evaluate changes and expansions to the entire palletizing portion of their facility to guarantee that variations and increases in consumer demand will be met.

 

ProModel/MedModel 2018 What’s New Webinar

2018 What's New Header

We will be conducting a live ProModel / MedModel 2018 Release Webinar on Wed Nov 15 from 1-2 pm ET.

What's New Webinar sign up button

The webinar will give you a look at the updated look and feel of the application’s more modern, fluent user interface that provides more ease and control of your model building experience. This significant version will include such features as a Ribbon Toolbar, Docking Windows, and Right-Click Context Menus as described below:

  • Ribbon Toolbar: The traditional menus and toolbars are being replaced with a fluent Ribbon toolbar like you find in Microsoft Office applications. The new Ribbon will make it easier to access the various modules and features within the application and better facilitate touch screen and high-resolution devices.

Ribbon Toobar screen shot

  • Docking Windows: Windows will be docked within the new workspace interface, which means that when you adjust the size of one window, the others automatically resize accordingly. Say goodbye to overlapping windows. You will also be able to stack windows on top of each other and quickly access them from their respective tab thus saving valuable view space.

Dock Screen Shot

  • Right-Click Context Menus:  Context menus will be available in every table and accessible by right-clicking in any field within that table. For example, you will be able to quickly delete, insert or move a record with a simple right-click of the mouse.

Right Click Screen Shot

Join the webinar to hear all about what’s new in the ProModel / MedModel 2018 Release on Wed Nov 15 from 1-2 pm ET.

What's New Webinar sign up button

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State Probation Office Assesses Jail Occupancy Rate with Simulation

CHALLENGES

The mission of the Office of Probation for any state in the US is to provide seamless services to the victims, communities, offenders, and courts of that state. The administration of probation is a complex and ever-changing process. Recently a state probation organization’s Sr. IT representative contacted ProModel looking for help understanding, analyzing, and improving its probation office processes. Its systems and infrastructure needed to be updated, but before that could begin they needed to understand the “As Is”condition of its processes and all that was involved.

During the project, the US Justice Department planned to release about 6,000 inmates early from prison—the largest one-time release of federal prisoners — in an effort to reduce overcrowding and provide relief to non-violent drug offenders who received harsh sentences over the past three decades. The inmates from federal prisons nationwide were set free between Oct. 30 and Nov. 2 of the same year. This followed action by the U.S. Sentencing Commission—that reduced the potential punishment for future drug offenders from the previous year and then made that change retroactive. The panel estimated that its change in sentencing guidelines eventually could result in 46,000 of the nation’s approximately 100,000 drug offenders in federal prison qualifying for early release.

It became important to also determine the impact of this action on this state’s probation services and local jail systems.

OBJECTIVES

The Probation Office was interested in using Predictive Analytics to analyze the as-is condition of its processes:

• Where might there be any bottlenecks or constraints?

• Assess the impact of the new law on the probation office workload and the local county jail occupancy rate.

• Where could other improvements be made?

SOLUTION

In order to model and simulate the current processes, they needed to be fully understood and documented. ProModel’s resident lean expert was brought in to work with Office of Probation personnel to create a quick high-level Process Simulator Model of the voucher process. Together in a room with four or five probation team employees, ProModel documented in Microsoft Visio, the ins and outs of the voucher system. When this model was built and simulated, the results so closely resembled the realities of the current process and resource utilization of certain team members, that the go-ahead was given to proceed to a complete model of the voucher process.

The entire probation process was modeled and simulated by several experienced members of the ProModel consulting team, along with Office of Probation personnel. The following processes models were completed:

1. Voucher process

2. Juvenile probation process

3. Adult probation process

4. Problem-solving court process

Probation Voucher Process_Image_5

One Part of the Overall Model

VALUE PROVIDED

As part of the law change, convicts who are guilty of certain felonies will spend part of their sentence in probation instead of spending all of it in prison. These felons are at a higher risk level than the current average probationer, and will likely cause a disproportionate workload increase on the probation officers as well as take up county jail space should custodial sanctions need to be implemented.

This simulation model clearly communicated that the current processes and resources available were not adequate to handle the predicted increases in probation candidates. Several areas of the process were evaluated for improvements and the model was used to validate several proposed IT enablers and Lean modifications.

 

MedModel OR Case Cart Implementation Study Shows How to Improve Patient Throughput by 38%

Situation

Hospitals face increasing pressure to reduce costs while continuing to provide quality care to patients. The operating room, one of the most difficult and expensive wings to manage, must run efficiently in order to avoid unnecessary costs. Hospital managers often implement case cart systems which create a centralized materials management system. Case carts carry medical supplies within an operating room. The case cart system ensures that the staff obtain the necessary materials and instruments in time for their upcoming procedures (1. Making a Case for a Case Cart System).

This study was undertaken to test the impact of implementing a case cart system on the OR process in a client’s newly configured OR Suite. The impact was determined by patient delays in any stage of the OR process that was attributable to case carts.

Objectives

The client wanted a predictive analytic model which would help answer the following key questions:

  • Has the medical center acquired enough carts to satisfy the volume requirements?
  • Are there enough Sterile Processing Department resources to support the case cart process?
  • Will the case carts introduce any new delays in the patient process?
  • How many carts need to be staged prior to morning start to ensure smooth OR Suite flow?

Results

The model outputs suggest that maximum patient throughput could increase by 38% in 6 months with the implementation of a case cart system. The following additional insights were also gained from the study.

  • Determined that 55 small carts and 28 large carts are needed to ensure there are no delays due to case carts.
  • Determined that 6 SPD FTE’s are required to pack the morning case carts and 4-5 SPD FTE’s are required during normal OR operation hours.
  • Realized that cart picking must begin as soon as possible after midnight to ensure there are enough carts ready at the start of the day. To maintain a steady flow, the carts must be available and ready for the first two procedures. The modelers found that maximum case cart use time occurs early for a maximum of 1 hour.
  • The implementation of case carts caused no significant delays in patient flow times.

 

Maximum System Volume

At these higher volumes both POCU and PACU spaces become limiting factors.

SS-HC-Case-Carts-Improve-Patient-Throughput[1]

Solutions

Defining the Process

A spreadsheet defines the “patient flow” process as it relates to patient type, location sequence, staffing utilized and task times. The spreadsheet “Staff” columns work together to schedule the first staff member required for each procedure step. Some procedure steps have the staffing flexibility of allowing an alternate position to “back up” the primary position. Times for each process step are defined in the Process spreadsheet using triangular distributions which account for work time as well as wait time.

Cases Defined by Historical Data

The medical center provided historical data such as original date of surgery, the service which performed the procedure, the surgeon assigned to the case, and the OR assignment.

Block Schedule

Operating room schedules are entered onto a spreadsheet. The model solution places the previously entered cases into schedule blocks and continues through the process until the patient completes the surgical experience.

Staffing

The simulation model uses the data on a worksheet to perform scheduling tasks by staff person, primary or secondary resource group, and times that shifts begin and end.

Sterile Processing Department Input Worksheet

Data entered into the Sterile Processing Department (SPD) worksheet is matched with the procedure from the “Cases” worksheet. The model solution will produce results indicating the turn around time on the carts, and will predict the performance of SPD.

Location Assignments

A worksheet defines the primary and secondary uses of each location in the model.

Procedure Requirements

Three triangular time distributions are used on this model (Min / Mode/ Max) to represent procedure times for all clinic procedures. The first triangular is used for the procedure itself. The second triangular is used for room turnover. The third and last triangular distribution is the set-up time occurring before the next procedure is performed.

Room Restrictions

“Special Restrictions” may apply for up to five ORs. These restrictions define the rooms that may be used

by each service. An entry of “999” indicates that “any” OR may be used.

Services Using Case Carts Chart

Services using carts receive a “1” in corresponding column while services not using case carts remain blank.

References: SS-HC-Case-Carts-Improve-Patient-Throughput[2]“1. Making a Case for a Case Cart System.” Making a Case for a Case Cart System – Research – Herman Miller. Herman Miller Inc., n.d. Web. 14 June 2017.

Joint Force Capability Catalog (JFCC)

Weeds Pic

Rob Wedertz – VP DoD Programs

The United States Military consists of more than 4 million active and reserve men and women, operates at 800 military bases in over 70 countries and has an annual budget of nearly $600B.  The requirements to manage this force globally and ensure it is adequately equipped, trained, and ready to implement both our National Security Strategy and National Military Strategy are daunting tasks.  For the military planners who must provide the most sound and reasoned advice to military and civilian decision makers who ultimately have the authority to direct the forces to carry out the global strategy, detailed information about these forces must be readily available and current.

The Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff has doctrinally mandated the integration of Enterprise Force Structure data (Army, Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corps forces – capability, readiness, availability and employment) via the Global Force Management – Data Initiative.  This effort will provide the Force Providers (Services), the Combatant Commanders (Force Requirements), and the Joint Staff (Force Allocators) with a technology-enabled Decision Support Platform to carry out the National Military Strategy.

The Joint Staff J35S has been tasked with the technology implementation of this capability, called the Joint Force Capability Catalog (JFCC).  The Joint Staff J35S has chosen ProModel Corporation to design, develop, and implement the JFCC.

JFCC Dashboard

ProModel was chosen as the lead software provider based upon our deep-seeded experience providing Decision Support Tools such as the ARFORGEN Synchronization Toolset (AST), the Lead Materiel Integrator – Decision Support Tool (LMI-DST), and the Naval Synchronization Toolset (NST).

The JFCC is a “sea change” for the Global Force Management community because it is not being developed as a stand-alone platform, but rather as an integrated system with the capability to:

  • Aggregate data from more than 60 disparate systems
  • Present the data in a user-friendly graphical user interface
  • Conduct Course of Action (COA) predictive analysis

The JFCC ultimately provides stakeholders with the ability to do the following:

  • Account for forces and capabilities committed to ongoing operations and changing unit availability
  • Identify the most appropriate and responsive force for capability to meet Combatant Commander requirements
  • Identify risk for the Secretary of Defense associated with sourcing recommendations
  • Improve the Department of Defense’s ability to win multiple overlapping conflicts
  • Improve the Department of Defense’s responsiveness to unforeseen contingencies
  • Provide predictability of the Services’ rotational force requirements
  • Identify forces and capabilities that are unsourced or hard to source

ProModel is proud to have been chosen to provide this much needed capability to the Department of Defense.

Increasing Use of Custom ProModel Integration Yields Big Benefits

2017-06-20 09_21_16-Keith Knudsen

Keith Knudsen ProModel Project Manager

Traditional Modeling Provides Great Benefits, But Can Do More…

Over the past 29 years, ProModel users across a spectrum of industries have demonstrated the value that modeling can bring to an organization. Just a few examples include:

  • A leading manufacturer of oilfield equipment who modeled their existing location to identify ways to optimize their processes and gained a 45% throughput increase
  • Shipbuilding companies that have used our traditional modeling to improve shipyard production and capacity planning
  • Hospitals that have used MedModel for decades to improve patient flow.

Increasingly, however, ProModel customers are looking to extend these benefits by integrating their models with other IT systems to develop web-based decision support tools. These model-based tools utilize a ProModel engine on a server, read in live data and utilize ProModel simulation and optimization capabilities to provide forecasting, automated scenario exploration and prescriptive suggestions.

Custom Integration Amplifies The Value of a Good Model

Whether created by ProModel consultants or in-house analysts, a good model (traditional or integrated) is composed of several key elements as shown below.

Custom Dev Integration Model Architecture

  1. Process Forecasting: A good model simulates an important business process in a concise way, at an appropriate level of abstraction, and provides accurate forecasting to inform key business decision making.
  2. Operational Data: To the extent possible, a good model brings together real-world data (typically from several sources) that has been validated and normalized. Operational data feeds the model, but also is mined for distributions, patterns and trends that improve the model’s predictive and prescriptive fidelity.
  3. Resources & Constraints: Every business process has factors which throttle its throughput – often in non-linear and sometimes unexpected ways. A good model can forecast the impact of changes to resources and other constraints.
  4. Business Priorities: Providing information about business priorities allows a good model to do two things: a) predict and notify users about problems and opportunities, and b) utilize automated scenario creation and optimization to explore alternatives and seek decisions that lead to most optimal outcomes.
  5. Prescriptive Analytics: A good model provides the prescriptive information to key decision makers as early as possible to support effective planning. These improved plans then feed back into the system as operational decisions and changes to resourcing, process and priorities.

Custom integrated model(s) take all of the above, integrate it with live data and makes its power available in a live, web-based format so that tactical decision-makers at all levels of the organization can utilize it. In a live integrated environment, prescriptive analytics can be provided daily or even hourly in support of near real-time decision-making.

A Growing Portfolio of Proven Custom Integration Success Stories

ProModel has now developed about half a dozen custom predictive prescriptive platforms with direct integration of the ProModel server into the customer’s operational IT environment.  Examples include:

  • Shipyard Manufacturing Capacity Planning: AREAS
  • Supply Chain Planning: DST
  • Personnel Readiness: AST
  • Hospital Patient Flow Optimization: FutureFlow Rx

AREAS capacity planning capability was featured in the Signal Magazine on page 2. The article states that Ingalls Shipbuilding estimated a potential annual cost savings of just under $1M from the use of this tool.

Benefits of Integrating Models With Live Data Systems

Benefits of a custom integration of ProModel include:

  • Pulls operational data to support strategic planning on an ongoing basis
  • Automatically projects “strategic what-ifs” (changes to resourcing, facilities or sales) to show true impact on “daily tactical decisions”
  • Ties strategic targets to operational decisions, and continuously explores alternatives to provide early warning of opportunities and risks.

For More Information…

Contact saleshelp@promodel.com if you are interested in learning more about custom model integration.