What is the real Return-On-Investment (ROI) from intelligent immersive simulations?

July 29th, 2012 : By Jim McAssey :

ROI is the performance measure used to evaluate the efficiency of an investment. I want to say up front, we will always need and must do live exercises. But the current economic environment means there is going to be less of them.  When we do live exercises, we need to make the most of them.  That is why immersive simulations are so important. They save money. They let you practice. They let you make those simple ABC mistakes, that beginners make, in an environment that does not hurt anyone. Immersive simulations also allow for a complete capture of all the sensory data that is so critical to an affective after action review.

So the return is more than just the comparison to the cost of a live exercise.  It is really a multiple because immersive environments let you practice so any live exercise time is optimized.

What are some examples of the costs of a live exercise (metrics taken from various websites)?

  • An F-15 fighter’s use in a live exercise requires one and half pilots and 10 maintenance people. The US dollar per flight hour can range from $17,000 to $30,000.
  • The cost to operate an M-1 Tank in Europe is $338,000 per year. An M-1 tank gets 0.6 miles per gallon.
  • The cost of running an aircraft carrier for a year is around $160 million dollars. A Nimitz Class has 3000 people on board, 90 planes, and is 20 stories high.
  • The Rim of the Pacific exercise this month, which was held near Hawaii, was the largest of its kind.  The exercise brought together 42 ships, six submarines, 200 aircraft and 25,000 personnel from 22 nations.
  • Role player exercises have multiple cost elements: Time of the trainee, Travel, Set up, Management, Sets/Props, Meals, Housing,  and Role player costs can be $500 to $700 per day

The range of cost for an immersive simulation seat can start at a couple thousand dollars.  It can be used every day be different individuals. If you want to know the ROI? Just tell me your costs. I will tell you the ROI.

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