Paragon Simulation Business

The wand choses the wizard, Mr Potter

Neil Higton

I helped a friend carry a computer monitor from his car in to his living room – that’s how long ago it was! When we powered up the Cromemco there was the first simulation I had ever seen. Even though it was only a simulation of an engine assembly area, it was love at first sight. My friend was a part of a team working at the leading edge of automotive facility design. It was one of the first occasions that visual interactive simulation had been used in a commercial setting. I could immediately feel the beauty of the concept and understand the potential. I’d recently graduated and 18-months later with a master’s degree complete I was working in the same team.

And so that’s how it all started. Mr Ollivander said “the wand choses the wizard, Mr Potter”. The wizard doesn’t choose the wand! I sense it was like that for me – simulation chose me.

I’ve been a consultant to some of the top companies for many years and as you can imagine I’ve been involved in helping them make some pretty big decisions. I’ve learnt from my mistakes and I’ve got to a point where I sense the obligation to share and pass-on some insights so others can benefit.

I simulate things like airports, hospitals, factories, warehouses and banks. I’m simulating the flow of work and the availability of resources. I then use the simulation to play thousands of future scenarios to gain insight into how the process can run better. I should have moved on to something else decades ago but I love what I do. How does the saying go? “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life”. Thankfully that has been my experience for 25-years.