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October 31, 2014
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Forward Thinking

Playing games with supply chains

In March of this year, game-based learning went global when 12 teams from top business schools around the world vied to create the most efficient supply chain in the first-ever Global Supply Chain Competition.

Games and competition have long played a key role in business school curricula and corporate training sessions. But in March of this year, game-based learning went global when 12 teams from top business schools in the United States, China, Finland, France, India, the Netherlands, and Taiwan vied to create the most efficient supply chain in the first-ever Global Supply Chain Competition.

During the game, which is played over the Internet, each team represented a fictional computer company. The teams had to decide what type of computers to make, where to locate factories, where to source parts, where to sell their products, how to price them, and how to transport them. They also had to forecast sales and place orders based on market conditions. Each decision a team made affected all of the other teams, so competitors had to react quickly.

The top prize went to a team from the University of Groningen in the Netherlands, but the game's developers at the University of Maryland's Robert H. Smith School of Business and Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands believe that it is well suited for both classroom and corporate education. In the March event, players competed virtually from their home campuses. This model could be replicated to allow a global company's widely dispersed supply chain groups to compete, interact, and learn from one another.

More information and access to the game is available online at www.gscg.org.

[Source: "University of Maryland Hosts First Global Serious Gaming Competition" (news release), www.rhsmith.umd.edu/news/releases/2007/032707.html]

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