A SIMULATION DECISION GAMES PACKAGE AND ITS USE IN THE EDUCATION AND RESEARCH OF LOGISTICS PRACTITIONERS
The paper presents a package of logistics simulation games. The package includes three games named: SERVICES – a market analysis and competition, LOGCHAIN – a supply chain processes, and ABC – activity based costing in logistics processes. The educational objectives of the games, its assumptions and scenario, as well as the most important elements are presented in this paper. Each game has been tested in practice in the course of postgraduate studies carried out by one of the European universities.
SERVICES game models a small enterprises functioning on a competitive and closed market. A group of game participants is acting the management board role of a construction company providing a kind of services on the market. Demand for these services is periodic. It creates a major challenge for the players, who have to make decisions in the areas of service shaping capacity, marketing, human resources and production, as well as in the area of pricing policy.
The game LOGCHAIN simulate the cooperation between the manufacturer of the LCD TVs ant its wholesalers, supplying their products on separated markets. Each game team owns the warehouse, but the manufacturer activities are simulated in accordance to the algorithms of its Enterprise Resource Planning information system. Similarly, market activities are simulated according to the game scenario, the same for all of players. The players should focus on the demands analysis, stock planning, supply planning directed to the manufacturer needs, the identification of the wholesale price and promotion.
The ABC game was prepared to simulate the management of a manufacturing company using ABC (activity based costing) method. The essence of the game is to determine the unit’s production cost in a dynamic market conditions. This situation effect is partly basing on the decision of the game participants. The players are attempting to determine the cost of the production conducted by a mathematical model (basing of the ABC method).
The article also presents the methodology of how to use the computer simulation games in a training of practitioners as well as the usage of industrial gaming to research the practitioners’ capabilities and their predispositions. The methodology presented in the paper is using the games to check the kind of so called hard skills (numeracy, estimating, forecasting etc.) as well as the kind of soft skills (teamwork, willingness to take a risks, the ability to find, to select and to use information etc.).