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Arena is a versatile simulation tool and is often applied to projects to determine optimal use of scarce resources. The laboratory workflow project illustrates this as a key strength of discrete event simulation. 
In testing laboratories, a multitude of different specialised test and preparation equipment is required to deal with the many and varied standard testing procedures. a key performance measure of a testing laboratory is sample throughput time. Any improvements in this area can result in increased throughput which is directly related to increased revenue for the testing house. Key factors affecting sample throughput time are number and location of type of testing resource combined with number and skill set of operatives for the instruments. The model in this instance is based on the floor layout of the laboratory identifying the location and travel distance between instrumentation.

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The characteristics, setup and analysis time of each tester, in addition to other key location data can if necessary all be specified in a simple Microsoft Excel spreadsheet giving non-simulation users easy access to fundamental data to experiment with different scenarios. Multiple sample arrival streams can be simulated as random distributions modelled on typical job patterns or alternatively the model can follow an actual list of sample arrivals throughout a working day or week.

The running model shows accelerated daily operation identifying work in progress (WIP) bottlenecks, resource and operator utilisation, sample throughput and other key lab performance data, all displayed as the model runs in a bespoke business graphics dashboard. With Arena, the laboratory manager can now focus on optimising key measures such as sample throughput by understanding how the laboratory resources (instrumentation and staff) should be utilised to provide the best results. 

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