How to Choose the Best Aquaculture Optimisation Software for Your Business
There are a number of critical issues to consider when you evaluate optimisation software tools and here I want to touch upon some of the essentials.
True optimisation comes with proof!
Beware of tools which claim to do optimisation, but instead are really “improvers” which seek to find a solution that fits and then improve the quality of that solution by a set of rules. A software tool is a true optimisation tool if it has a mathematical guarantee that it can always find the unique best solution.
In a nutshell, it is the difference between making a square peg fit into a round hole by bashing it into place (manual planning or non-optimal planning) versus a custom designed peg which perfectly fits the space (true optimisation tool).
Think about your present and future modelling needs
Software optimisation tools create a model of your business which is then utilised to calculate the best possible plan for your business. It is important to be sure that the software tool you choose has sufficient modelling capability for the needs of your business, now and into the future.
For example, you might start with modelling your production process, but later want to optimise production in the context of your market opportunities. Does your optimisation software tool provide enough flexibility to model each part of your business value chain and then have the power to find the single best plan for your complete model?
Fitting in with your business
Does the software tool integrate with your existing business practices and systems? The quicker and easier that you can move data into and out of the optimisation software tool the better. Optimisation software should support diverse sources of data, such as production databases, enterprise management systems, financial systems and presentation systems. A good optimisation tool will enable you to easily and quickly incorporate new information into your optimisation model and to deploy the results of the optimisation wherever is best for your business.
Generic or industry specific optimisation software?
Is the Optimisation software tool designed for Aquaculture? The business of aquaculture has many unique aspects: from biology to logistics to regulation and finances. So it is important that your optimisation tool understands aquaculture and furthermore that it is flexible enough to capture the unique aspects of your aquaculture business!
Does the software tool scale to your business?
A high performance optimisation tool will enable you to work in real-time or near real-time whilst you use it to evaluate different scenarios for your business. The best optimisation tools have been created to cope with gigantic decision spaces, and these can arise even for relatively small producers!