SimQuick is a freely-distributed Excel spreadsheet (download here) for modeling and simulating a wide variety of processes such as:
- Waiting lines (e.g., banks, fast-food restaurants, call centers).
- Inventory and supply chains (e.g., stores, warehouses, and simple combinations of these).
- Manufacturing (e.g., assembly lines, batch processes, simple job shops)
- Projects with uncertain task times.
SimQuick requires no “installation.” It’s just an Excel file with some macros. If you have a PC (stand-alone or networked) with Excel 2003 or later (under any version of Windows), or a recent Apple computer with Excel 2011 or later, then you can immediately use SimQuick.
SimQuick is designed to be easy to learn and use. Check out a quick example. Most of the key features can be learned in an hour or so of class time or independent reading.
SimQuick is now in its third incarnation (copyright 2016) since first being distributed in 2001. It has been used by a number of companies and by at least 40 colleges and universities, typically as a supplement to an Operations Management, Spreadsheet Modeling, or Quant Methods course. An interesting article about SimQuick appeared here and SimQuick has been discussed in several texts.
SimQuick is accompanied by an inexpensive 125-page booklet (pictured below) that introduces the technique of process simulation through realistic examples and exercises that utilize SimQuick. (Solutions to the exercises are available to instructors who adopt the booklet.)
The first edition of the SimQuick spreadsheet and booklet was reviewed in Interfaces, Vol 32, No. 5, Sept.-Oct. 2002 by J.K. Visich:
“… as a pedagogical tool for introducing the basics of simulation, SimQuick is an outstanding workbook and software package. A student with a basic understanding of Excel should be able to build and analyze simulation models with little to no help from the instructor.”
The second edition of the SimQuick spreadsheet and booklet was reviewed in Computing Reviews, Association for Computing Machinery, Dec. 2004 by K. Galensa:
“In his book, which is actually a manual to the software, the author demonstrates how easily simple processes can be simulated with spreadsheets.” … “The book is a clear and well-written user manual for the SimQuick software, and, as such, will be very useful for business students and instructors, to accompany a course in quantitative methods.”
The booklet can be ordered here.