Fifty more interactive help models

31 July 2015

A help model a week for a year!

Six months ago we announced the release of an initial ten interactive example models in our online help system at Since then we have been working through the rest of the Model features section, developing (more precisely) a further 52 models designed to bring to life the various static examples and figures in the original text. In parallel, we have also reviewed the structure of the whole section under a new heading of Calculation framework.

Finally we are pleased to announce the publication online of this new structure, together with the complete set of models which you can explore yourself (no registration required) if you want to learn more about how STEM works or simply evaluate its potential.

New-look calculation framework

The section formerly known as Model features is a self-contained reference to all of the built-in calculations made by STEM. Indeed it was even a separate binder in the days when we still shipped hard-copy manuals! As ever, each group of calculations is explained in detail with examples, and is cross-referenced with alphabetical listings of every pre-defined input and result. (The inputs are also presented by data dialog in the alternative context of the Editor skills section, which is where pressing <F1> in the Editor takes you, and these pages also link through to the associated features.)

This structure is now augmented with the new interactive models which exist in parallel to the static feature topics. Each model is linked (both ways) from an original example or figure in the feature section, and you can also browse from one model to the next for more of a ‘try it and see’ experience.

Figure 1: Structure of the new Calculation framework section

Try before you buy and see how it works

The library of interactive help models is still growing and will be maintained as a living resource. We expect to add further commentary and illustrations as appropriate, and to make individual models available for download in due course.

The 52 new models alone would serve as a useful weekly self-training exercise to learn STEM ‘from cover to cover’ over the course of an aspirational year. We may even add a Help model of the week feature to our main website to promote wider awareness of this rich opportunity. The current list of titles is shown in Figure 2 below.

Evidently the principal aim of these models is to serve the learning process as an extension of the original help content. However, the readily-accessible interactive format also facilitates ‘self-service’ evaluation of the system before buying.

Seeing is believing

The Internet-connected STEM platform has been used and verified internationally for years already, but what better evidence of our confidence in the system could we present than this comprehensive set of openly-accessible test models? Each of the ‘nuts and bolts’ shown here is an element you can rely on in a critical business-case model, and one which you won’t have to design, code or test to a deadline yourself.

Time Factor transformation 01 Fixed Assets
Time Factor transformation 02 Leased Facilities
Consumable resource contractor costs Overheads
Stock of consumable resources Cost Period
Consumption of energy in time Resource decommissioning
Matching hours to engineer capacity Resource decommissioning Use Slack
Technology shift Resource decommissioning Make Slack
Customer churn Resource deployment
Churn through transformations Resource deployment Maximum Utilisation
Direct and used cost results Resource deployment Minimum Slack Capacity
Allocating costs of slack capacity Minimum Slack Capacity and Maximum Utilisation
Cost dependent tariff Resource deployment Proactive installation
Production Functions Resource requirements 01
Cost Trends Resource requirements 02
Age Factors Service administrative costs
Demand Shorter time periods
Demand Traffic Volume Tariffs and revenues
Depreciation Tariff feedback to demand 01
Residual Value Tariff feedback to demand 02
Depreciation Schedule Input output mapping transformation 01
Calendar Override Input output mapping transformation 02
Erlang B formula Expression transformation 01
Erlang B with Deployment Expression transformation 02
Discount Rate Previous transformation
IRR Time Lag transformation
Financing and Debt Facilities Delta transformation 01
Sourcing incremental borrowing Delta transformation 02
Locations and deployment Cumulative Sum transformation 01
Pre Run Installation 01 Cumulative Sum transformation 02
Pre Run Installation 02 Value chain analysis
Pre Run Installation 03 Working Capital

Figure 2: Listing of interactive help models for STEM as at 31 July 2015 (in order of the original examples)

If you are still reading down to here, perhaps you would care to share this article or a link to the Calculation framework section with the hashtag #HelpModelOfTheWeek?

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