The WinterSim conference is focused on applying simulation to solving problems as diverse as healthcare operations, bank document processing, and manufacturing. The conference brings together nearly 700 academics, practitioners, and software vendors. This year I dedicated time to the Case Studies track, where we had 33 presentations showcasing the applications of simulation at companies like Hewlett-Packard, 3M, Northrup Grumman, JPMorgan Chase and Co., and Spirit Aerosystems. The Case Studies abstracts are posted on the WinterSim web site, and soon the full papers will be available online.
The WinterSim Case Studies track is an excellent way for simulation practitioners to showcase their work and share best practices. One of the most memorable presentations came from David Kalasky at JPMorgan Chase & Co., who pulled out his smart phone during the presentation. At first I thought he was getting an important text that would preempt a presentation, but he turned the phone around and showed us the dashboard for his document management operation. Simulation can be used as a predictive tool, looking forward in time to help decision makers see what could happen in their operation.
I presented a couple of Diamond Head Associates projects from the previous year (see picture below). We used AutoMod on both of the projects, and successfully guided the project stakeholders to reduce risk and design better automation systems. The attendance at these sessions was excellent, and I got some great questions after the presentation.
Next year the conference is in Huntington Beach, California. I will be working again to build another strong Case Studies track. Because of the presence of aerospace and port logistics in Southern California, we hope to have strong case studies in those application areas. I look forward to seeing you next year in Huntington Beach.