Spreadsheet software is now widely used as a decisionmaking tool,owing to the simplicity and ease with which generalists can analyse andobtain fast and precise information. Through spreadsheet programs, anonspecialist can conduct an exhaustive what if search inorder to make decisions regarding what if questions. Now,with the availability of a random number function in most spreadsheetprograms, simulation models can be carried out within the spreadsheet.How the waitingline problem can be simulated using a spreadsheetpackage is demonstrated. The simulation process serves as adecisionsupport system to assist decision makers to determine theappropriate service level based on number of servers. Arrival ofcustomers to obtain service is stochastic in nature and therefore can beassigned a probability distribution using historical data. Through therandomnumber function, which is available in most spreadsheet programs,random numbers can be generated and used along with the assignedprobability distribution to assist in making the servicelevel decision.
International Journal of Operations & Production Management – Emerald Publishing
Published: Feb 1, 1991