The Global Supply Chain Management Simulation is designed to teach intermediate to advanced concepts in supply chain design, demand forecasting, resource allocation, and production planning. The simulation gives students an opportunity to design and manage the supply chain of a global phone manufacturer. During the simulation experience, students design the phone product line, forecast demand, choose a set of suppliers with different costs, lead-times and capacities, and allocate production among their chosen suppliers. After completing the product and supply chain design phases, students observe actual monthly demand being revealed dynamically, and have opportunities to respond to demand shifts and unexpected events. To manage the mobile phone lines successfully, students must balance competing priorities and create a supply chain that is flexible enough to react quickly to fluctuating demand. The simulation is repeated over a four-year period, allowing students an opportunity to refine their decision processes each year after learning from the feedback they receive about the previous year's results.
Company: Harvard Business Publishing
Approximate price: $15.00
Playtime: 1 hour, 30 minutes
Learning objectives: How to create a cost-effective and flexible supply chain using a combination of more expensive, short-lead time and less expensive, long-lead time suppliers. Students allocate production among different suppliers and experience the trade-off between costs and lead times. How to build flexibility into the supply chain to reduce stock-outs and excess inventory in the context of uncertain demand, and how to determine the appropriate degree of flexibility required for different products and different contexts. In the simulation, flexibility stems from supplier capabilities and production planning methods. Students also learn how to evaluate the costs and benefits of adjusting production as actual demand patterns emerge. How to evaluate forecasting methods and interpret the dynamics of a forecasting team. Students learn how to evaluate and interpret critical forecast information as they listen to their "colleagues" voice individual and consensus demand forecasts. They learn to look for important indicators of demand volatility that help them better design and manage their supply chain. How to build a production plan based on a probabilistic demand forecast. How to weigh the relative importance of results and process performance measures. At the end of each playing cycle, the company's virtual board of directors evaluates student performance. Using a dynamic evaluation process based on actual student decisions, board members ask questions and judge the student's performance. This interaction allows students to reflect on their own choices and deepens students' understanding of insights gained from the simulation. In addition, profits for each period are computed, so students can measure their performance based on board votes, profits, or a combination of the two.
Link to simulation home page: https://hbsp.harvard.edu/product/8623-HTM-ENG