Reflecting on 30 years of AIMMS

  • 10 December 2019
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Reflecting on 30 years of AIMMS
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Thirty years ago, our founder Jan Bisschop started AIMMS with a vision: to develop technology that would make it easy and intuitive to build optimization models and user applications, in one go.

Jan handed over his ownership of AIMMS in 2003. Through a management buy-in, I became a shareholder and leader at AIMMS. Since that moment, I see it as my primary role to serve AIMMS in unleashing its full potential, and to be the steward of Jan’s legacy. 

In 2012, we made an important strategic decision at AIMMS, in our quest to bring the amazing benefits of optimization to society. We realized that to increase the positive impact of AIMMS, we needed to get closer to the business side, where the value of AIMMS is “consumed.” Since our company was founded, most customer projects had been in the field of Supply Chain and Operations, so we started adding a supply chain management chapter to the AIMMS journey.

In past years, we have been working on two important and large product development projects: the complete rebuild of our product and the creation of our supply chain app suite, which includes supply chain network design and S&OP Apps with unique optimization and scenario capabilities. On top of that, we have embraced self-organization as our operating model. Executing these projects has been intense for a company our size. When these large internal projects are in the making, they may not have an immediate positive impact on you, our customers and partners. At the same time, with these projects we are laying the foundation for our future. They are also strengthening our learning together, as a community.

This brings me to the launch of the AIMMS Online Community this year. We know that AIMMS and our vision stretches much beyond ourselves. Throughout the past 30 years, we have built close relationships with our users. Many AIMMS users have contributed to the development and improvement of our product. AIMMS users have also contributed to the AIMMS community, by manifesting Jan’s vision, with the impactful applications they have built. Over the years, we have discovered that AIMMS users can be very passionate about our software too. An online community seemed the logical next step, to bring them together. 

And that is what we have created to celebrate and honor the built-up of the AIMMS community, over the past 3 decades, and to further unleash the power of the AIMMS community in the next decades. I invite you to dive in, join the conversation and let us know your thoughts!

For the coming decade, I envision AIMMS spreading its wings much beyond its current reach. I see two forces that will shape AIMMS: the external force of digitization and the combined internal force of our purpose, values and culture.

Let me start sharing something about the external force: digitization. At AIMMS we go with the premise that we are in the midst of a transition to the Digital Age paradigm. That we are not in an era of change, but a change of era. A perfect storm, where developments in science, such as quantum physics and nanotechnology, are meeting with immense computing power, fast data networks, incredible amounts of data, and advanced analytics. Supply Chain Digitization is at the pinnacle of this digital transformation, at organizations.

So how do we intend to respond to this shift at AIMMS? We acknowledge that transitioning to the digitization paradigm will be both challenging and full of opportunity. The challenging part is more about the direction our world and society are taking, not so much about digitization itself. The complexity of our fast growing and increasingly interconnected global society, its impact on our globe and on us humans, and the amazing pace of change, can paint a scary picture for the future. Though digitization will not be the answer to everything, I believe it will greatly help society untangle its rapidly emerging and complex challenges.

At AIMMS, we want to support you in making the challenges less fearsome and getting the opportunities within closer reach. By developing and offering technology that can make a digital twin of your physical assets, a digital representation of your supply chain that combines mathematical models, data models and process flow, with analytics to support fact-based and optimal decision-making towards the objectives you are aiming for. Be it revenues, cost, margin, cash, your carbon-footprint, other sustainability goals, or a combination of those objectives. At AIMMS we aim to support you, in feeling more confident in your decision-making, by enabling you to interact with this complex and fast changing future.

AIMMS is all about bringing the benefits of mathematical optimization to society; this purpose sits in our DNA. It will keep propelling AIMMS forward to find new ways to make it easier for you to benefit from optimization.

And while our purpose is the driving force behind what we do, our culture and values are the cohesive forces that will determine our ‘being,’ how we act, how we show up.

In the coming decade, marrying care and high performance will stay the underlying theme in how we aim to do business with you. I firmly believe that care comes first and that high performance will follow as a result.

Deeply caring about customers is a well-developed ‘capability’ at AIMMS and gives us a much better chance to have a positive impact on your performance as a business.

I also firmly believe that care, trust and deep listening will have a positive impact on our human relationships, making our interactions much more valuable and enjoyable. This lays the foundation for establishing long-term relationships. It is this, what we aim to be very good at.

I feel blessed that I may be a steward of the vision and work that Jan Bisschop and the AIMMS team kicked-off 30 years ago. In the past 16 years at AIMMS, my perspective on doing business and building relationships has been reshaped in ways, I couldn’t have envisioned back in 2003.

What you create, will in turn create you!

We are grateful, for the trust you placed in us, over the past decades. We are fully committed, to keep on earning your trust, in the coming decades, and to work with you on your future success in this digitizing world.

We feel honored, that you made the decision to become an AIMMS customer, an AIMMS partner, an AIMMS user, an AIMMS supplier or just an AIMMS friend.

I wish you a hugely fulfilling and enjoyable 2020!

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