You can think of business as a multiplayer game between the supply chains of different companies. Companies use their supply chains to lower operating expenses, offer new services and appeal to more customers. The competing supply chains of Walmart and Amazon are an example of this. In the 1990’s Walmart introduced new technologies and procedures that supercharged their supply chain and drove their growth. Now Amazon is introducing new technologies and procedures to again change how supply chains operate and supercharge Amazon’s growth.
When students apply theories and principles from readings and lectures to solve problems in realistic simulations of actual supply chains around the world, they are connecting learning with practice. Quoted below are some of the comments we’ve received from instructors using SCM Globe simulations: Continue reading
“We wargame because we must. There are certain warfare problems that only gaming can illuminate.” – Robert Rubel, Professor Emeritus, Naval Warfare Studies, U.S. Naval War College.
Military organizations have been using games to train their officers and predict possible outcomes of future battles since the Prussian Army began using the game “Kriegsspiel” some 200 years ago (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kriegsspiel_(wargame)). This shouldn’t be surprising if we accept the notion that games are a biological adaptation in mammals to gain survival skills. In nature, play is the activity of practicing survival skills in low-urgency situations that can then be used in high-urgency, life-and-death situations. This is exactly the way the military uses wargames.
Could we use games to explore different supply chain options, just as the military uses games to explore different strategies? Could a supply chain game show us the best supply chain solutions the same way wargames show the best strategies? If so, what would that supply chain game look like? Continue reading
There’s an old saying that goes like this, “Amateurs talk strategy, and professionals talk logistics.” Logistics has always been the foundation upon which successful strategies support themselves. Now in our interconnected and globalized world, skills in logistics and supply chain management are more crucial than ever. In this article we’ll discuss four key reasons for using simulations to develop world-class supply chain professionals.
Reason 1. There are Two Kinds of Knowledge — We Need Both
There are two ways of knowing things, and they build upon each other. Those two ways are:
- Tacit knowledge – difficult to articulate; usually defined as “know-how” or “street-smarts”. It can be transmitted through stories, through social interactions in a group, and through personal experience.
- Explicit knowledge – codified in language and discourse. It is the facts and figures that can be transmitted by books and dialogue.
Let’s investigate a high-level conceptual design for applying game mechanics to coordinate the actions of a network of separate companies that all do business together. These companies are manufacturers, logistics providers, distributors, and retailers, and they are all members of a common supply chain. Continue reading
In the spirit of the saying, “amateurs talk strategy and professionals talk logistics”, lets look at the campaigns of Alexander the Great. For those who think that his greatness was only due to his ability to dream up bold moves and cut a dashing figure in the saddle – think again.
Alexander was a master of supply chain management and he could not have succeeded otherwise. Continue reading
As the saying goes, “It’s not what you know, but what you can remember when you need it.” Since there is an infinite amount of detail in any situation, the trick is to find useful models that capture the salient facts and provide a framework to organize the rest of the relevant details.
SCM Globe is a way to model the salient facts of any supply chain anywhere in the world. Continue reading