Supply chain management is critical nowadays, and helping schools meet this challenge is our mission. Professors can complement their lectures and readings with interactive supply chain simulations. Morocco is one of the countries paying attention to teaching supply chain management, and attracting more students into the field. For the last six months, students at seven Moroccan engineering schools have been using the SCM Globe simulations. Some students used them as part of their curriculum, some used them in supply chain competitions, and others used the simulations to work on research projects.
Understanding the Customer Experience
One way of understanding the customer’s experience and improving the usability of our software is by directly interviewing the user. Our intern Mohammed BOUALAM interviewed two students who just finished using the simulations in their class. They are industrial engineering students, Hamza FALAHI and Ziad ESSALHI, from the National School of Mines of Rabat ENSMR – Morocco.
Interview with Hamza and Ziad – National School of Mines of Rabat ENSMR
Mohammed (M): Please, introduce yourselves.
Hamza (H): I am Hamza FALAHI, and I am an industrial engineering student from the National School of Mines of Rabat ENSMR – Morocco. I am a motivated student with a passion for Supply Chain, system studies, project management, and anything related to engineering. (LinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/in/hamza-falahi-107651169/)
Ziad (Z): I am Ziad ESSALHI, and I am also an industrial engineering student at ENSMR. (LinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/in/ziad-essalhi/)
1. Needs and Goals
M: You both showed an interest and motivation in getting the software as part of your supply chain management course this semester, right? What motivated you?
H: Yes, pencil and papers are good for learning, but being able to see and simulate real Supply Chains is much more exciting for all of us.
2. Use case
M: How were your studies different because of the software?
H: It’s a big difference. Supply Chain Management is a large subject that needs active learning and practice to deeply understand the concepts. And since we are still students we cannot apply what we learn in real life, so I think that a supply chain simulation software like SCM Globe is the only effective way to learn Supply Chain and Logistics.
M: How easy was it to understand and use the software?
H: For me, it was very easy to handle. You only need to follow the six steps that everyone can find on the website, and within a little time, handling the simulation becomes easy. (Link to the six steps: https://www.scmglobe.com/online-guide/getting-started/)
Z: Watching the tutorial videos that everyone can find on the website, plus your help and the online introduction session that the SCM Globe team organized, were enough to understand 50% of how to use the software. The rest came along after using the software for a while.
3. What you like
M: What has the software allowed you to do?
H: SCM Globe is a very powerful and interesting software. It allowed me to locate facilities on the map, plan vehicle departures, simulate and visualize different scenarios and compare them based on quantitative and qualitative data. SCM Globe is really a good tool to understand how Supply Chains are actually managed in real life.
Z: Well, the most important thing that this software allowed me to do is to see real problems happening, and think about relevant solutions to mitigate them. It was really like putting on the hat of a supply chain manager and seeing what it is like.
M: How would you describe the software to other people?
H: I will say that SCM Globe software is very beneficial for every student studying Supply Chain and logistics or any other field, not just during the training, but also for their career. This software, with its real case studies, doesn’t teach you only Supply Chain Management, but it teaches something more important which is problem-solving and analytical skills.
Z: SCM Globe is a simple and effective tool for every engineering student to practice Supply Chain Management, and for every professor to engage their students and retain the knowledge they transmit.
4. What to improve
M: What other things do you wish the software did?
H: Well, based on my experience, I had some trouble visualizing all the simulation data because it needs to be downloaded, then imported into a reporting spreadsheet. I wish I was redirected to another screen where all my data was shown with graphs and plots. I mean a web page where all data are plotted at once and where the user can choose what to look at, rather than opening one by one the data graphs on the simulation page.
Z: I wish the software had the ability to work with stochastic demand and lead-time so it can be even much closer to reality.
5. Brand question
M: What do you think of the current look and feel of the software?
H: The current look is very basic and it needs some modifications and upgrades like the following :
- The language bar in the up of the edit page can be replaced with a rolling list.
- The way of creating and editing the input information for facilities, vehicles…. It wasn’t handy, a lot of windows popping up especially when having a lot of facilities, vehicles, and routes.
- Having the entity’s information organized in a tree structure could help to avoid confusion.
Z: As a Mac user, buttons like “My Account”, “Help”, “View Library”, etc, are on top of the language bar. This makes it difficult for me to click on the right button.
THANK YOU Hamza and Ziad
Feedback like this is very important for us and the future development of the software. We are glad students liked and enjoyed the simulations, and of course, their suggestions for improvement will be taken into consideration in future updates.
Special thanks to Hamza FALAHI and Ziad ESSALHI who took the time to attend the interview and answer our questions. Their answers show they are disciplined students and there is a great career waiting for them. Best wishes for their career success.