When evaluating our software, prospective customers often want to know “Will I be able to solve my problem?” A complete answer to this question involves actually building a full-scale optimization or simulation model, and solving it. But it’s often possible, with less time and effort up-front, to get a good idea whether a full-scale model-building exercise will be justified. If you have the time and skills, you can determine this yourself by downloading a free trial version of our software, using it, and contacting us for technical support. Our tech support is available to you during your free trial, but our support personnel can only answer questions about our software, not about your problem and model formulation.
"The Quick Problem Review was a great investment. Yong [Li] was professional and knowledgeable about our financial model. She helped reduce our solve-time by 95%." - Morgan Keegan & Company, Inc.
Our Excel-based or SDK-based Quick Problem Review offers an attractive alternative. For a very modest fixed price, you’ll gain about two hours of expert consulting time devoted entirely to your problem, requirements, and model formulation. Using telephone and email, our consultant gains an understanding from you of what you’re trying to achieve, and gives you our assessment of the likely answer to the question “Will I be able to solve my problem?” Of course, it isn’t possible to actually build and solve a model in such a short time, so the assessment is limited to the knowledge available up-front, and there can be no guarantees of successful models or solutions -- but our Quick Problem Review can help you determine whether further analysis and model-building effort is likely to yield a substantial payoff.
Specifically, you can expect a written report by email, and a brief phone discussion to summarize:
1. Our understanding of your problem and desired outcome.
2. Our assessment of whether your problem likely can be solved with optimization or simulation methods.
3. Our assessment of whether Frontline Systems software can be used to efficiently solve the problem.
- If it can, we’ll recommend specific Frontline products that we think are best for your problem.
- If not, we’ll point you towards software products from other vendors that may be appropriate.
4. If we believe the problem can be solved with our software, and if you indicate that you’d like a consulting proposal:
- A project outline for consulting services we could provide, to actually build and solve the model.
- A price quote for these consulting services, structured with check points along the way.
Your initial point of contact for your Quick Problem Review will be Dr. Sima Maleki, a member of Frontline's professional staff. Sima has a PhD in Industrial and Systems Engineering (Operations Research) from the University of Tennessee. She has experience with a wide range of software tools including Frontline Solver products, and has built models for applications such as network design, supply chain simulation and optimization, facility location, 3D layout optimization, scheduling, and "lean healthcare" resource utilization. Part of Sima's role is to understand your problem and determine who among our consultants is the best match for your requirements.
Our Quick Problem Review usually has a high payoff for our prospective customers -- it sure beats “coming up the learning curve” entirely on your own! -- and it’s something we always do as a first step in our consulting services. Your success in an optimization or simulation project very often depends on how you start. Excel skills are very useful, but the experience of having built scores of other successful optimization and simulation models can help enormously. It’s far too easy to expend a great deal of effort in model-building, ending up with a large, complex model that can’t be solved efficiently, or solved at all.
Start out the smart way -- contact Frontline to arrange for your Quick Problem Review today!