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Helping companies adapt systems to changes from within

Supplier: TSG
04 February, 2010

When your company expands or downsizes, sometimes it is hard to assess what kind of impact these changes will have on the in-built interdependable sub systems and how the overall performance of the company will be affected.

TSG Consulting was formed in 1999 by a team of experienced consultants from a global engineering and consulting company to help organisations deal with these problems.

The founders, Rodney Hoare, Craig Steward, Michael Dallimore and Peter Bodon, saw the need for this company to specialise in quantitative decision analysis by undertaking capacity and performance analysis of complex systems.

This includes mining, manufacturing, logistical or transportation systems. The use of optimisation and simulation techniques have allowed TSG Consulting to develop capacity solutions and to test the performance of them, which are all aimed at allowing a clear business decision to be supported.

The company uses computers to build models of complex operations and integrated supply chains for clients who know that effective decisions are dependent upon clear and complete data supported by rigourous analysis.

Chris Macquet, the business development manager for TSG Consulting, says that better decisions can be made only when the right facts can be examined; various options are explored and conclusions are tested. He adds that simulation modelling and scheduling are the best tools required to make this process work.

"Our goal is to improve confidence in decision making in complex operations and supply chains by providing computer based solutions, which accurately reflect future operations and supply chains, as well as allowing the 'what if' questions to be explored when making the decisions."

Macquet says its simulation modelling tool is very powerful and can be used for the design and analysis of the system's life, including planning, design, analysis, operation and expansion.

One example of a successful project that TSG Consulting has worked on is the Worsley Alumina's pit to port modelling case study.

Over the last 12 years, TSG personnel has worked with Worsley Alumina in assisting them with their expansion plans and project evaluation studies.

These projects typically relate to the plans to expand the client's bauxite mining operations, overland conveyor operations, stockyards issues, alumina transport operations and shipping operations.

The operational modelling provides insights into a significant number of options for the delivery of bauxite to the refinery stockpiles with specific annual alumina targets.

The models also consider the infrastructure required to deliver ore to the refinery along with additional options examining road trains, rail transportation and alternative overland conveyor configurations.

These studies optimise these various options and determined the benefits and constraints associated with each one, whilst carrying sensitivity testing to find the optimised usage of critical components.

The flexibility of the modelling virtually allows for an endless number of configurations with some of the options turned off (for example rail or road trains exclusively) or used as a combination.

Aside from these key areas, the model has helped to increase understanding of the impacts of upstream and downstream components on the overall supply chain.

The process methodology used has also assisted the clients in their decision making process and more importantly the consequences of their decisions.

Macquet adds that clients use their services to understand how complex operations or supply chains will behave or react to changes from a variety of sources, such as volumes, capacity, throughput and variability in dynamic environments.

For example, clients need to know which taps they should turn or off, and by how much, to deliver optimum performance and returns in investment. Without our help, they could end up making poor decisions where all implications are not fully understood or quantified.

"What makes us unique is our technical modelling and client industry knowledge and experience, as well as our approach and methodologies. People also value our diversity of skills and the value we bring to our clients. Over 90% of our work is repeat business."

As well as providing simulation modelling solutions, the company provides optimisation and scheduling services.

Its future goals include becoming a global leader in integrated planning and harnessing the synergies between 'master' (strategic) and 'operational' planning.