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Being visual means customers will clearly see what the model is doing and will be able to interact with the modeller to improve the model and make it more adequate for the needs of the customer.
Hard to record videos of a simulation run. I used a third-party program.).
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Ease of use and WONDERFUL customer experience
Comments: 10/10 - I would purchase again. I also took the training with customer service rep and that unlocked my use of the tool more than if I were to just buy and use without going.Both the reps are the two employees I interface with most and I can't say enough positive things about my experience as a customer and user. They already had the sale, they didn't need to keep helping me but I feel their attitude is for the product to truly help my decision making.
Product is easy to use but the absolute BEST feature is the support. I can shoot an email with a question and get a very helpful response in under a day or, even better, I have emailed them my file and had support respond with where my error was. I wish I could give them 6/5 stars in this category.
In today's world we are spoiled with things like the iPhone "just working" and there are a few features that require some extra clicks when trying to make changes. Also could have more "flashy" charts/features but I just export the data to excel when needed to make these.
World Class Simulation Software and Customer Support
Comments: An additional note on the consultant we worked with, not only is he thoroughly competent and knowledgeable about the Simul8 software features and functionalities, he was quite fun to work with and a great conversationalist. Simul8 clearly recruits great talent, both on a personal and professional level. Overall - Simul8 has been great to do business with and well worth the investment!
The software is very user friendly and the Simul8 consulting team is one of a kind. Our team had the majority of the model set up and ready configure within the first 2-3 weeks. We ran some test to see if the model was working properly before engaging with the internal consulting team, and we were able to do so with minimal effort - the software is quite intuitive. The configuration of the model did take some time, as our process is quite complex, but the consultant we worked with was a great resource and helped us get our model running accounting for all of our process specifics. An additional note on the consultant we worked with, not only is he thoroughly competent and knowledgeable about the Simul8 software features and functionalities, he was quite fun to work with and a great conversationalist. Simul8 clearly recruits great talent, both on a personal and professional level. Overall - Simul8 has been great to do business with and well worth the investment!
There are no cons about the software that we wish to report at this time.
Great support staff. But poor documentation.
I value the availability of the support chat function. The support staff are very forthcoming and helpful.
I need to use the visual logic functionality for most of my modelling. But the documentation for this is lacking. Comprehensive documentation, tutorials and documented examples would improve the experience significantly. The VL interface is also quite frustrating as compared to normal programming languages. Finding commands is difficult, and the use of the interface is not intuitive.
Hi Iris, Thanks for your valuable feedback! We'd really appreciate your input to help us make improvements in these areas. One of our support team will be in touch shortly to check in. Thanks again, The Simul8 team
SIMUL8 Initial Review
Overall, using SIMUL8 to build trial simulations has been great and very easy to use. Learning the basics is easy, especially if you have previous knowledge of the foundations of discrete event simulations. Although I shared criticisms of the 'availability' of information for more complex modelling, I would like to comment that this is addressed by the level of responsiveness and support provided by SIMUL8 after purchase.
When I had 'what if' questions with SIMUL8 or if I was looking to see if a particular modelling characteristic is possible, their help email is responsive (usually less than a day to respond) and detailed. They will work with you on recommendations on specific aspects of your simulations that you may have a question on. There are also forums that they provide for their users such as drop-in sessions where examples are shared by their consultants, which usually includes a question and answer period. Of course, their support team isn't going to build your simulations for you, but having a post-purchase support team that is able to answer complex questions through multiple forums (emails, drop in sessions) is extremely valuable.
Although SIMUL8 has not been used in a formal project, I will comment on the positives of the solution in the context of building trial simulations of areas in a healthcare setting. Previously, I built basic queuing model through spreadsheets. This was time consuming and limited to the basic pathways. In addition, it was difficult to build pathways which required resources or loops. It was night and day going from so much manual work to SIMUL8. From my experience, SIMUL8 has made building straight forward simulations, assigning resources and timing very easy. I would estimate multi stage queuing models now take me an hour to build, whereas formulation on a spreadsheet would have taken multiple days. Most of the software for simple modelling is quite intuitive - especially the basic building blocks. The other aspect that I enjoy with SIMUL8 is the built in statistical distribution tests through STAT:FIT. A major component of discrete event simulation is data availability and identification of the best distributions. Having built it into SIMUL8 makes it seamless to import data, test for best distribution, and enter the information into SIMUL8. The last aspect I would like to comment on as it relates to SIMUL8 isn't actually related to the software itself; rather the post-purchase support provided by the SIMUL8 team. As someone fairly new to using discrete event simulation software, I appreciate the responsiveness and detail provided by the help team to my questions.
Most of the 'downsides' of the software I found isn't with the software itself, but the availability of information for new users. It would be helpful if the software came with a formal user manual or document. Although new users have access to SIMUL8 academy, the courseware does not cover all basic topics, so one would have to actively look for the information online on the SIMUL8 website. There is also minimal information or examples that is readily available around modelling more complex scenarios when one is more comfortable with SIMUL8. This information may or may not be on the SIMUL8 website. An example is the use of job matrix when resources aren't limited to one work stations or activity. This is a common occurrence in healthcare so having this taught as part of SIMUL8 academy would have been helpful.
Easy, fast, and powerful simulations.
Comments: Overall experience has been great. I have shared this tool with many other sites in Plexus as well as other non-competitive companies as a great asset.
The best part about Simul8 is how easy it is to pick up. I have easily trained many people how to become powerful users in a short time period to where they can create customer level simulations.
There are very few minor flaws in the software that are very industry specific. None that are worth mentioning due to insignificance.
Powerful simulation program with an incredible support
Comments: Simul8 provides extensive tools to create simulations and meets our needs about visual representation of the data.
Simul8 is probably the the most comprehensive yet easiest to explore simulation creation program in the market. User interface is highly optimized to enable the user reflect the paper version of the model to the visual graph.
Simul8 has great 2D visualization tools however it fails when it comes to 3D visualization requirements.
Simul8 in engineering education
Simul8 is easy to use, easy to train on, and very useful to visualize and communicate. We use it to expand the system thinking approach to our manufacturing engineers.
The interface is a bit outdated (like windows) and would benefit from an uplift from a UX/UI perspective.
Discrete Event Simulation in Civil Service - very helpful
Comments: Very helpful for facilitating Discreet Event Simulation Modelling, particularly for sharing with stakeholders. Sometimes a little slow and glitches do seem to appear, although this could just be me.
Ability to label work items and visually show how they move through a system. Incredibly helpful Customer Service from [SENSITIVE CONTENT] following a bootcamp.
Slow to extract raw data from and glitches.
Comments: Only have been using for a couple of weeks but have been able to write a report off of it.
I like the accessibility of support and consulting.
Needs more instruction and instruction for writing logic.
Breadth of functions and the support to understand them. After mentioning to our User Engagement Manager that we weren't sure how to model a project, they setup multiple 1:1 meetings to assist. They showed us how we could utilize the software to it's fullest extent and the intended application for each relevant tool.
The data collection required to accurately simulate large production lines can be cumbersome; however, no software is able to compensate for poor data.
Versatile software for trialing and optimization healthcare processes
Comments: We have been able to model several different clinical scenarios in our facility: post-acute care units, outpatient clinic patient flows, and vaccination clinics. We have also been able to optimize schedules to best meet demand by using the OptQuest interface. Building these processes in Simul8 and testing different configurations has saved us many weeks of PDSA trial-and-error testing in the real unit, allowing us to move much more quickly to ideal improvements. This has made our patient experience more pleasant and allowed our staff to focus more on patient care delivery.
Building process flows, decision points, distributions, and timings is intuitive. Data visualization tools allow you to see an analyze input and output variables and make reasoned conclusions. Integration with OptQuest can find ideal solutions, saving a lot of trial and error guesswork.
Some of the more advanced features require specific coding syntax that takes time to learn. However, once you get the syntax down, it's powerful. It just takes a little time to get over the learning curve.
Introducing Process Simulation to a Tech Company
Comments: My exposure to modern process simulation tools began only 4 months ago. I am on a long learning curve mixing my day job with simulation skill development. The support folks at Simul8 have been wonderful helping me understand how their modelling program works, providing solution approaches and code snippets. Further, they have a comprehensive library of on-line documentation. The trick to using their online documentation is knowing which search terms to use. I had no coding or scripting experience before working with Simul8, so it is taking me extra time to learn the simulation and VL coding vocabularies. While the standard interface is very functional – almost simplistic – Simul8 has a rich set to pre-defined object-attribute terms and code snippets. It takes a while to understand where to find what you need. Again, the support team at Simul8 has been wonderful helping me through this period. While I still have a long way to go to moderate proficiency, I know enough now to help jump start other engineers on modelling projects. This, of course, helps them, reinforcing my learnings, and exposes me to a variety of simulation use-cases.
Ready and very capable support, via email and chat. Support is responsive and helpful. They even have a chat button on their "Help" pages. If they are unavailable, you can submit support request and get response in a day if issue is not too complex. Extensive documentation and examples, both in the application and on-line. Simple UI for setting up realistic process flow models and for verifying pieces of the model perform as expected. Excellent value for the money
VL Code Dictionary a bit terse, could use links to example uses of the code object and its attributes (object.attribute) Hard to find a complete dictionary of keyboard shortcuts I'm using the desktop version. I have not found a way to manage version control except to save the file often with new names each time. In my early model-development phase, I would break my models frequently, then couldn't remember all the changes I made before it broke.
Comments: Positive experience. Technical support has been fantastic, and the software has answered all the needs I have so far.
Visual interface is great for observing and validating simulations. Graphics are useful for visualizing what is actually going on. Incorporating of visual logic is great for interfacing with excel, and customizing your own time or event based actions. When you hold mouse over a setting, there is usually a great explanation which is really helpful. It does what I need it to! So I can't complain there. I am still a new user so I have a good deal to learn, but overall, I'm having a positive experience and haven't encountered any issues I couldn't work out with some (excellent) technical support!
Could improve variables - it would be nice to be able to declare variables in the visual logic code, instead of having to go into information store and declare before using. Would be nice to have an option to see all visual logic in one place as opposed to broken up and nested in each activity, makes it tricky to monitor when counters are updated, for example. Would also be nice to see some common event based visual logic pre-made, for example, when activity complete, send time of day to a spreadsheet cell, and increment the row for the next completion time. Would like to highlight several activities and change all parameters, such as resource details. It might just be my use case, but a lot of labour goes into updating a batch of settings across multiple activities that could be a global change. An example is for making a resource travel with work item - have to go into details in resources of each and every activity. The default settings add a travel time based on arrow length - I would make that off by default. Graphics interface feels a little buggy when scrolling and zooming - clock jumps around. It appears you have to use the same units across the whole simulation. Clock in hours and others in minutes would be helpful. Granted, I am using an old version of the software, and I am a relatively new user of the software. None of these are dealbreakers for me, just hopefully helps the development team improve or potential users get started.
A powerful tool
Comments: Overall I have had a very positive experience of using the software. We've used Simul8 for looking at explaining why ambulances queuing at emergency departments in recent years has increased. Currently are using it to look at staff required to deal with call demands at GP practices. We also use it for training other analysts to help them understand what discrete event simulation is and can do.
I find that the visualisation aspect of using Simul8 software for discrete event simulations really helps management and frontline staff to enagage in discussions around how to improve their system and gives them more confidence in results. Some of the features included make producing a model quicker for me than alternative solutions. One of the main reasons I'll use Simul8 over alternatives is the speed of reply and the very knowledgeable support staff. The ability to export full documentation of your model does help in making it more transparent to those who want to reproduce a similar model in alternative software and it does now connect to R as well as Excel. Really like the ability to use the online version of Simul8 as well as the desktop version. You can build simple models with the standard features quite rapidly which is great for beginners but the additional features like Optquest and Visual Logic expand its possibilities much further.
The obvious one is being a commercial company there is always going to be a cost and my organisation being public sector means there is a push right now to use opensource solutions instead. I sometimes find the visual logic help on the website doesn't resolve my query but a quick sometimes usually export to R or Excel for final versions. It is possible to occasionally crash but I can't remember it ever not recovering my work.
SIMUL8 for Manufacturing Applications
Having over 24 years in the simulation field, I have used several different simulation packages. SIMUL8 has surfaced at the top of the list for several reasons: Low cost per seat, Ease of learning the tool, Power & Functionality of basic simulation objects, Ease of data import/export, Ease of analyzing results.
SIMUL8 has proven to meet typical manufacturing design objectives such as:
1) Bottleneck Analysis and applying "Theory of Constraints" to designing and improving manufacturing operations.
2) Determining the optimal number of carriers within a material handling system (i.e. Power & Free, Electric Monorail, etc)
3) Determining optimal operator & resource utilization; including operating patterns & shift patterns.
4) Optimizing mixed model assembly lines; including scheduling and sequencing objectives. I have learned staying with proven basic simulation objects works best when building models. SIMUL8's "Visual Logic" contains enough commands and logical constructs to capture coding conditional events throughout complex areas within the process. Basically, learning how to apply basic "IF-Then" statements in conjunction with commands is all it takes to tap into its power. Cons: Limited graphics & annotation, Save often as model can lock-up, Operator Travel Links can become corrupt. Good point is with time... you can usually find work-around's to avoid some of the listed shortfalls.
I stay with the basic simulation building blocks and design and implement complex manufacturing designs.
Annotation and screen graphics are lacking. Operator travel links can become corrupt.
Simul8 for eCom fulfillment
Comments: I am making heavy use to the VL capability. Most of my Activities have an attached VL routine. I am simulating Robots and Operators in pick aisles using WMS simulated pick lists. Testing Optimization algorithms for efficient Robot travel, Operator travel, and Robot "swarming" to meet Operators at a pick face.
Very flexible, fast, user friendly, and intuitive.
A little buggy. Crashes several times a week. Memory overflow seems to be the biggest cause. Also, multi Activity changes can cause crashes.
Thanks for the great review! A member of our team will be in touch so we can look into your valued feedback.
Best customer and technical support in industry
Comments: I use the software as a teaching tool but my students always work in a practical project for the final part of their course.
The software is intuitive and easy to use. Being visual means customers will clearly see what the model is doing and will be able to interact with the modeller to improve the model and make it more adequate for the needs of the customer. But the BEST thing about this software is their technical and customer support. It is best to none. And this is vital when you are using software like this. Simul8 is a company that makes each user valued and for this reason is always ready to help you with any questions you might have. If I could give it 10 marks, I would.
Their online help needs improving but in the end if you don't find online what you are looking for, you can always ask their technical support who are more than happy to fully explain to you what the problem is, or how to do what you need to do
Easy way of simulation
Comments: My overall experience is very good, and is important to note that there is a free license for students which is an amazing opportunity.
Simul8 is very easy and intuitive to implement my system and convert in a simulation, based on LCD´s and the final DCA. All the work items are easy to introduce and connect between them, which saves a lot of time and reduce the probability of errors.
The Simul8 is amazing but still can improve regarding the graphics. In fact, still use pixels items which reduced the probability to present a Simul8 system during a pitch or professional report.
easy-to-use software that allows you to create simulations with precision, flexibility and speed.
Comments: It has been a very useful software in the subject of simulation and Models, especially in the units of simulation of discrete models and in the units of study of tail systems, and events
Easy to use software that allows you to create simulations with precision, flexibility and speed. It allows simulation of events and also allows the creation of scenarios similar to reality, minimizing the risks associated with the administration of processes and projects. in addition, the creation of the simulation is done in the most simple and intuitive way possible, by the use of an explicit interface and the basic but efficient method of "drag-drop" to define the process. The user can run animated simulations very quickly without writing any line of code. And Simul 8 Professional plus all the features of the standard allow Customize the results, graphics and reports to show the KPIs (key performance indicators) that matter. Easily compare scenarios to make informed decisions. Realistic graphics Convert 2D models to 3D simulations with a simple click. Use photos and graphics known by your customers, or download from the large SIMUL8 image library, Optimize: save time and avoid errors using Optquest: it will show you the different scenarios and offer you the optimal solution. Share simulations "Viewer" allows you to share your simulations with clients or associates who do not have the full SIMUL8 license. Even more powerful with "Visual Logic" allows you to add complexities and nuances to your simulation in a way that reflects your real life system and processes. Other interfaces can be connected including Microsoft Excel, VBA, VB, and C ++.
Actually, as such, I do not have any disadvantage or feature that is not my taste, I think a very good software
For the Student version - from U of T
Comments: Overall very good .... especially for simulation which hasd a rap of beeing complicated and hard to understand.. I can get a class of 30 people from a zero knowledge base, to build, test and run a basic simulation in under 40 minutes. that is fast Student experience is almost always very favourable ... some even find it slightly addictive!
Simplicity - visual nature and very Visio like in design and appearance makes it a natural fit with process analysis which for us starts with a Viso Flowchart
Use of Inter-arival time at work entry point.. I always find this trips up most people at first .. couldn't we just put another factor such as arrival rate . Secondly adding or deleting lines in results manager is a pain.. I am starting to export to excel more and more
Powerful and intuitive
Comments: I used SIMUL8 mainly in the healthcare sector. I may have done in the last 5 years approximately ten projects, big and small. I also use SIMUL8 with my students to teach operations management. SIMUL8 is powerful because it is fast but also because it is intuitive. This makes the results of a simulation easy to explain to customers that are not familiar with simulation.
The pros: The software is intuitive and easy-to-use. It has all the features to simulate complex organizations. I have been using it regularly since 2014. SIMUL8 is constantly being improved and users are involved in setting priorities for new developments. The SIMUL8 team offers excellent support. They have engineers experienced in all types of industries. In the field for which I mainly work (health care), I have always found all the support I needed for my projects. I have tested other simulation software and can confirm that SIMUL8 is powerful, well designed and robust. Its cost (license and maintenance) is very competitive compared to other simulation software.
3D animation is not the strength of SIMUL8, but the 3D animation features offered by SIMUL8 are more than enough to test, debug and present the simulation results to customers. 3D animation is not the most important feature of a simulation program. Simulation speed and presentation of results are essential and SIMUL8 is fast and provides results that are easy to manage and interpret.
My initial 6 months with using and learning the software has been nothing short of exceptional!
The customer support and development team have been incredibly helpful, skilled, and overly available to assist me during my initial learning phase.
Ease of use Sophisticating modeling potential Training resources Sample models 1:1 Model development with knowledgeable developers
More updated standard graphics related to my industry - healthcare
Intuitive Software and Outstanding Training Resources
Comments: SIMUL8 customer support and training staff are outstanding! This support is what sets SIMUL8 apart and allows basic users to create models to support business decisions.
This software was extremely intuitive and easy to get up and running fast on your first model. I also highly recommend their in-person training classes. The training staff are approachable and take the time to personally meet you at your skill level to help you understand and complete models.
None for my personal use. I have seen some competitive products 3D floor layouts visuals that look slicker, but I don’t find this beneficial for my application of discrete event modeling. This could be my technical understanding of the software and not the software capability.
Powerful, Flexible, Easy to Use
Comments: I work for a medical device company, and our customers are physicians and hospitals. I have used this software to simulate how cath labs and device follow-up clinics operate, and how they can increase efficiency. I have published results in a peer reviewed medical journal and used output to influence internal strategies. The method (discrete event simulation) and the tool (SIMUL8) form an intuitive and powerful message. The support from the company is top notch. The software downloads, installs and operates easily. I don't often need help, but when I run into problems they immediately point me in the right direction for resolution, often going beyond what I ask for to point out better/more efficient ways of solving the problem than I had considered.
Flexibility - I can simuate most anything I can imagine Ease of use - I tried other simulators and could barely get simple simulations to work, with SIMUL8 I had reasonable simulations going within days of completing the training Power/Efficiency - I have simulated hundreds of thousands of virtual patients in a single simulation on a Windows laptop
The documentation of some of the more esoteric functions can be a little thin. This is easily overcome with a quick message to the support desk where they immediately give a good explanation.
The ability to simulate real world problems, with varying degrees of complexity, is something that makes Simul8 so great. Despite being a new user, I have found the techniques used within simul8 relatively easy to understand, along with the various different features being easy to implement within my work. The support system has been great, too, as I have frequently emailed simul8 support with various issues and they have always been happy to help and set up meetings where possible, which is so helpful.
I have found understanding the concepts and uses of Visual Logic hard to follow. I appreciate that there are videos and support already available, however, greater support on more complex uses of visual logic would be great. Also, having a tool that would be able to step through the simulation monthly, when incorporated into an if statement in visual logic would be really helpful, as I believe there is only a daily and weekly function to do this at present.