what's the idea?
You start with a good model base and then, like with Lego, you adapt it to your needs.
This means you add good, ready-made or bespoke components to your base model that meet your requirements.
The benefit to you, the user, is to be able to spend all your time concentrating on your business rather than on the basic infrastructure.
We call it Made Models.
What is our mission?
Our mission is to show that good modelling should be like playing with Lego.
how does it work?
Made Models come in two forms, base and component:
- Made Model Base are a ready-made models that suits a particular industry. Some are 90% ready, others 50% ready and others something in between.
- Made Model Component are ready-made components that you can add to your Made Model Base.
Why are Made Models good?
You will spend no time creating the basic infrastructure of your model.
You will spend all your time concentrating on how your business works.
Made Models marries three important realities that have surfaced in business and society:
- Firstly, you get a ready-made solution
- Secondly, you get to use Excel
- Thirdly, you get to play with Lego
How sure are we that good modelling is like playing with Lego?
Partly, because bad modelling is not like playing with Lego. Far from it.
And partly because we use the FAST standard to build all our models, both the base and the components. A natural consequence of 'constraining' how we use Excel by standardising is that every component is built in the same basic way, with the same simple mechanisms.
But mostly because we have experienced the Lego-like model building process over and over many times. For many years. This is our first-hand experience.
Now we would like to offer this experience to you. In the form of Made Models.
How ready are Made Models?
We attach value to how ready the Made Model Base is.
But we also accept that there will inevitably be changes and components to add. This will differ for each of your bespoke situations.
So we attempt to offer a realistic % readiness for each Made Model Base. This can only be a rough estimate but should work as a good guide.
Generally % readiness varies between 50% and 90%.
What do you get by starting with a Made Model base?
Let's use the mountaineering analogy and start at 'base camp'.
At base camp the team is all present, as is all the equipment. What is missing is the final plan for the ascent to the summit and who will do it.
The final plan depends on local climactic conditions, the physical and mental well being of each the team members and other information not previously available from the local Sherpas.
But being at base camp feels good after months, if not years, of planning.
So, what do you get at modelling base camp?
- You get a structure that suits your industry
- You get loads of example code that you can reuse
- You get a whole raft of basic infrastructure to which you can add your own
- You get a system that works
- You jump start your ascent to the summit using proven technology and tools
- You get calculations full of numbers so that you can clearly see how the calculations work
- You get a guide for your ascent from base camp
- You get a sounding board to better plan your ascent
- You get a system that is based on the Excel that you already know
- You get a standardised system
- You get a tried and tested system
- You get a system that is recognised in the market
- You get simple straightforward formulae
- You get a book that describes and classifies each of the manipulations
- You get live labelling
- You get a tried and tested sensitivity analysis tool
- You get compiled central checks and a method for adding your own
- You get a simple way to compare your changed outputs to those before you made a change
- You get the choice on how to proceed to the summit
- You get a fair price
- You get to use the Made Model in whatever way you wish
- You get to adopt a working strategy for ascent to the summit
So, how would we describe a Made Model from base camp?
- Tried and tested
- Limited in scope
- Comes with inputs
We think the price of our Made Models should be around one third of the finished model price.
This makes it interesting because you will have plenty of budget left for the completion of the model. If you finish it yourself then you can save the residual budget for other purposes.
Lazuli Solutions can help you plan how to do this, at no extra charge. See below What are we starting with? for further detail on what the offer includes.
What do you Get?
Made Model Base models come with Model, Time, Guide and Book.
- Model - This is an Excel model that is already working with dummy numbers.
- Time - A half-day of time with Dominic Robertson. In this time we can plan your ascent to the summit and make a list of the items that you have to do.
- Guide - a written guide to making changes and adding components to your base model.
- Book - A copy of See-Through Modelling which is the book written by Dominic Robertson and describing all the theory about the base model, but also the methods to complete your model.
What do i have to do to finish the model?
To finalise your model from base camp you need to do two things. In order:
- Work out which outputs/results are missing and add them in
- Add your business inputs to the model
Use the Time available with Dominic Robertson to understand what you have to do.
The model comes with inputs
What does this mean? How useful is this?
This is extremely useful as it constitutes a worked example.
Worked examples are the fastest way of learning. They mean that up front you don’t have to understand each line of code. You can jump straight to what goes in and what comes out.
Then later you can easily understand the lines of code in between.
Frequently asked questions
What is the best way of creating a model for my business?
There are three ways:
- Building the model yourself
- Commission a model
- Made Models
The 'best way' depends on your individual circumstances. But for most people, and given all the time and money, we think that starting at base camp and then working out a plan for the ascent is actually the most valuable and instructive method.
The mountaineering analogy works here. For most people doing it all alone is not possible. Being flown to the summit is fun but a limited experience. So planning with proper guides from base camp is the best option.
We do think that you have to get your hands dirty somehow to develop that intuitive understanding. But why re-invent the wheel?
How should you make your model bespoke?
To make the model work for you just follow our simple advice.
When learning something new, particularly something that involves numbers, the fastest way is to look at a worked example. That’s why the model comes full of dummy numbers.
If you want to reuse an existing component then follow the Create, Make space, Paint process. If you want to use a component that you have created then similarly follow the same process.
What about auditing a ready made model?
The process for model auditing is most often required by lenders prior to authorising a loan of substantial size. Often this process costs more than the model itself so should only be considered necessary if required by lenders.
How bankable are the ready made models?
Ready made models are bankable. This means you can use the models to negotiate with a bank about a potential loan. The models can form the basis for your commercial relationship with the bank and can be exchanged with this in mind.
How would you describe the pricing system for the ready made models?
Overall you should expect to pay somewhat less for a completed model.
If you started with the base model and then asked LS to complete the model for you you should expect a price roughly equivalent to a third off market.
If instead you complete the model yourself then the model will cost you a third of market cost plus the cost of your own time.
What about adding my own logic to the model?
That’s fine as long as you understand the interface between the base model and the component you are adding.
We can give you free advice on how to do this.
What utilities come with the model?
A Lazuli add-in will be available for a subscription in the future.
What are the benefits of a Made Model?
The first big-time benefit of a Made Model is that you don't have to build the basic model infrastructure. Instead you have a working, tried-and-tested system. This means you can concentrate on how to make it work for your business.