Simulation Games on the MSc in Global Supply Chain Management
There is significant higher education literature that supports that Operations and Supply Chain Management students are best taught via business simulation games. For example, the Beer Game is a supply chain management simulation game and it was invented by Jay Wright Forrester at the MIT Sloan School of Management in 1960 and since then it is played by leading business schools worldwide.
On the MS Global Supply Chain Management programme we play various simulation games. These have proved to have a great effect on enhancing students’ learning experience, which is reflected also by the very good comments we received in qualitative feedback.
The Harvard Review Publishing Operations Management Simulation: System Utilization in Service Management
In the Operations Management module (Term one) Dr Jörg Ries runs the Harvard Operations Management Simulation to enhance the learning experience of the students.
Harvard Business Publishing defines the simulation as follows: “The simulation illustrates a fundamental concept in Operations Management and is used to reinforce key learning objectives in case studies and readings. Based on the classic Manzana Insurance case, this simulation reinforces student understanding of Little's Law. Students analyse a service process-writing and renewing insurance policies-to understand the impact of capacity utilization on throughput time and WIP under demand variability. It is delivered entirely online and requires one class meeting or less for students to run the simulation and discuss the results.
The learning objective is to demonstrate the impact of capacity utilization on throughput time and WIP under demand variability and reinforce understanding of Little's Law.”
The Harvard Review Publishing Global Supply Chain Management Simulation V2
In the Introduction to Supply Chain Management module (Term one), Dr Son Byung-Gak runs the Global Supply Chain Management Simulation by Harvard Business Publishing.
In this simulation, students are in charge of managing a complex global mobile phone supply chain by making various SCM decisions ranging from product designs to supplier selection. According to Harvard Business Publishing, the goal is “to understand how to balance competing priorities and a supply chain that is flexible enough to react quickly to unexpected shifts in demand while remaining profitable”
The Production Game
The Production Game is a simulation game where the students form groups and operate a manufacturing company. The goal is to make the maximum profit within a three-hour slot, and the decisions they must make are the purchase of raw materials and stationary and the selection of the customer orders that are in place.
The market includes customer orders in an electronic auction environment which Dr Dimitris Paraskevopoulos developed in 2018 with the Digital Learning Team and it is hosted in-house. Students use this environment to bid for orders and track progress. The learning objectives are:
- Process design
- Layout management
- Quality assurance
- Capacity management.
The Links Procurement Simulation Game
The Global Procurement module (Term two), Dr. Kocabasoglu-Hillmer uses the Links Procurement simulation to help the students understand the challenges in supplier selection and the procurement-manufacturing integration. In particular, the Links Procurement management simulation aims to show the participants how to
- balance and manage trade-offs in procurement and manufacturing
- manage information flows and integrate information within supply chain management decision-making, with a particular emphasis on procurement
- use fact-based analysis and decision making to improve the quality of their decisions
- use financial statements in making supply management decisions.