Supply chain simulation competitions are a good way to teach both supply chain skills and teamwork – a combination much in demand these days. Students practice applying what they learn in readings and lectures to solve realistic supply chain problems. And they also improve their teamwork skills.
- Theoretical knowledge is applied to solve real problems
- Supply chain simulations show results of different courses of action
- People see connections between theory and practice and get “street-smart” feel for what works
- Supply chain competitions reinforce teamwork and creative problem solving
Student Teams Compete Online and In-Person
Several universities this year have hosted online and in-person supply chain competitions using SCM Globe as the competition platform. Pictures below show two of the student teams at the University of Technology of Compiègne (UTC), Compiègne, France. They and three other teams were part of an undergraduate business course that met online twice a week. In the last two weeks of their course they applied what they had learned to improve the performance of the Cincinnati Seasonings supply chain.
[ We offer a version of the Cincinnati Seasonings case as a multiplayer game. People playing this game will develop skills that are directly applicable to the real world of supply chain management. See “A Multiplayer Supply Chain Game” for more details. We can work with instructors to schedule pilot projects.]
Screenshots below show supply chain created for a competition hosted by the Indian School of Business (ISB) in Hyderabad, India. A group of graduate students selected SCM Globe as the most engaging and realistic platform to use for their supply chain competition. They created a realistic supply chain for a food products company based in Hyderabad selling its products in stores throughout southern India. 50 student teams from ISB and other business schools in India and surrounding countries competed over a long weekend. Student teams competed online from different locations. They sent in their supply chain models and the monthly P&L report generated from their simulation results. A panel of judges at ISB rated teams based on the profitability and creativity of their solutions.
This supply chain simulation is available as a case study in the online library, “Hyderabadi Biriyani – Paramount Restaurant . And there is a custom reporting template (shown below) that can import simulation data and produce monthly P&L Reports and KPIs.
Solving Realistic Challenges under Conditions of Stress and Uncertainty
Neeley School of Business at Texas Christian University (TCU) in Ft. Worth, Texas used SCM Globe as the platform for its second annual invitational supply chain masters competition. A team from TCU plus teams from 14 other universities with graduate level supply chain or logistics programs came to TCU to compete and present their solutions in person to panels of judges:
- Aerospace manufacturer was sponsor – suggested relevant case
- Aeronautic supply chain – global sourcing for aircraft production
- Loosely based on real events – aircraft roll out and maintenance
- Looking for new ideas – teams used simulations to explore options
- Teams presented ideas – judged by panel of industry executives
Teams had 24 hours to create designs, run simulations, and improve performance and efficiency of their supply chains. An unexpected change was introduced eight hours into the competition, and teams had to adjust their designs accordingly. This created conditions of stress and uncertainty which mimicked real world situations and made the experience more realistic.
As shown in the pictures below, dress code was business formal when teams pitched their ideas to panels of judges from the aerospace industry.
[ We are glad to provide a free evaluation account to instructors, students and supply chain professionals interested in exploring SCM Globe simulations — click here to request an account — Get Your Free Trial Demo ]
Teach Real-World Skills
Supply chain competitions are a good way to engage students and teach real-world skills. What students learn in the competitions are equally applicable in the real world. In about 30 minutes students learn enough to get started. And they learn more as they go. Everything students need is online. The software is easy to use so people don’t get lost trying to figure out how to use the software, they focus instead on learning how supply chains work and how to make them better.
Instructors get personal support to come up to speed quickly. We also have case study guides and course syllabus examples that combine different textbooks, lectures and simulation exercises. Complement your readings and lectures with engaging, easy to use supply chain simulations (find out more about pricing here).
These competitions are a great way to try out our simulations and get student feedback to see if they would be a good fit for your curriculum. Use the library of case studies or create a unique case study of your own. SCM Globe simulations are used in community colleges, universities and graduate schools.