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.
- Theoretical knowledge is applied to solve practical and tactical problems
- Supply chain simulations show results of different courses of action
- People see connections between theory and real-world practice
- Develop intuitive or “street-smart” feel for what works and what doesn’t
- Supply chain competitions reinforce teamwork and creative problem solving
Student Teams Compete Online and In-Person
Several universities 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 Biryani – 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. The judges were practicing professionals and executives in logistics and supply chain management.
An aerospace manufacturer was the lead sponsor for the competition, and they suggested a relevant case study for the competition. It involved the expansion of an aeronautic supply chain to support global sourcing of component parts for aircraft production. The case was loosely based on real events related to the global roll out of a new aircraft and the operating and maintenance supplies needed to service that aircraft. We worked with two professors at TCU to create the case and the beginning supply chain simulation for this competition.
The aerospace company was looking for talented people and for new ideas. Student teams used simulations to explore options for designing and operating an expanded supply chain to meet the conditions presented in the competition case study. Everyone was interested to see what ideas the teams would come up with.
The teams had 24 hours to create designs, run simulations, and improve performance and efficiency of their supply chains. Eight hours into the competition an unexpected change was introduced into the case, and the teams had to adjust their designs accordingly. This created conditions of stress and uncertainty which mimic real world situations, and made the experience even 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. And what students learn in the competitions are equally applicable in the real world. In about 30 minutes students learn enough to get started with SCM Globe supply chain simulations. And they learn more as they go. Everything students need is online. 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.
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.
Complement your readings and lectures with engaging, easy to use supply chain simulations. We have case study guides and course syllabus examples that combine different popular textbooks with lectures and simulation exercises. Instructors get personal online training and support to come up to speed quickly (find out more about pricing here).