20 years of SimPlan: From a 2-man business to an internationally operating group of companies
When the company’s founders Sven Spieckermann and Dirk Wortmann ran the first virtual cars across the screens of their simulation computers in 1992, this technology was still in its infancy. The software and hardware technology at the time set tight limits on the simulations. Since those early days, the technology and SimPlan have undergone remarkable development. Today, the company can look back on an impressive project history and is one of the leading service providers in the field of process simulation in Europe. With 75 employees group-wide, SimPlan operates six offices in Germany, one representative each in Slovakia and Austria, and a subsidiary in Shanghai. The opening of the SimPlan representative office in Dubai is the latest expansion step and will most likely not be the last.
After an initial strong focus on the automotive industry, SimPlan now serves customers in almost all industries. Wherever it is a question of optimizing existing or planned complex production and logistics processes, the simulation service provider supports its customers in determining the most economical solution for them. Simulation helps to identify potential bottlenecks at an early stage and to evaluate process alternatives before it goes “into steel and iron”. This not only speeds up the start-up of production and logistics systems but also provides an objective basis for decisions on planned investments.
Very early on, the company’s founders recognized the need to engage in research and teaching in this area. Close cooperation with universities and colleges, teaching assignments, active participation in associations such as ASIM (Arbeitsgemeinschaft für Simulation) or GOR (Gesellschaft für Operations Research) as well as participation in national and international research projects produce innovations that will help SimPlan to tap further market potential. A representative example is the development of a simulation solution for logistics planning of large construction sites.
“Today, there is no process that we cannot simulate. We are only limited by the availability of reliable data.” CEO Dr. Sven Spieckermann describes the situation. The fact that the technology combined with the experience of SimPlan consultants brings great benefits to customers is confirmed time and again. Numerous success stories as well as the continuous increase in clients are proof of this. “That is why we are looking to the future with great confidence and have set ourselves ambitious development goals,” says Dirk Wortmann about the company’s prospects.
Fig: SimPlan group picture 2011