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How students of ISME, benefit from the Business Strategy Game?

Vijay Bhandari, [PGDBA(IIMA),B.E.(Hons.)], Professor Marketing – ISME

Management theory is quite easy to read and understand but how can one get the practical feel of it. One of the most common remarks by employer’s of Management graduates across the world and especially in India is that they are not “Industry-Ready”.

The solution: Involve them in an Industry, running companies over a relatively long period 10 years, colleagues being either your partners or competitors using tactics, counter tactics and counter-counter tactics using all the management concepts you learn to achieve your short-term & long-term goals.

Hardly any management courses give the students this kind of an insight and exposure to be able to actually run a company, use all the concepts learned during the theory classes and finally see the results of combined decision making by all competitors in an Industry.

ISME students participate in an online BUSINESS STRATEGY GAME – A battle of wits in a simulated game of strategy.

What is the Business Strategy Game?

It’s an online, PC-based exercise where you run an athletic footwear company in head-to-head competition against companies run by other class members.

· The marketplace is worldwideproduction and sales activities can be pursued in North America, Latin America, Europe-Africa, and Asia Pacific

· There are 12 market segments—4 geographic segments each for branded footwear sales to retailers, for online footwear sales direct to consumers, and for private-label sales.

Teams of Company Managers will make decisions for their respective companies in each decision period representing a year.

· Corporate social responsibility and citizenship (up to 6 decisions)

· Production of branded and private-label athletic footwear (up to 10 decisions each plant, with a maximum of 4 plants)

· Plant capacity additions/sales/upgrades (up to 6 decisions per plant)

· Worker compensation and training (3 decisions per plant)

· Shipping (up to 8 decisions each plant)

· Pricing and marketing (up to 10 decisions in 4 geographic regions)

· Bids to sign celebrities to endorse your company’s footwear (2 decision entries per bid)

· Financing of company operations (up to 8 decisions)

· Plus there is a screen for making annual sales forecasts and deciding whether to have inventory clearance sales

All aspects of the game closely mirror the competitive functioning of the real-world market. The Business Strategy Game puts participants in a situation where they can apply what they have been learning the business school.

The broad objectives of incorporating the game as a workshop were:-

· To appreciate that shooting from the hip is a sure ticket for managerial disaster!

· Consolidate knowledge about the different functional aspects of running a company.

· Deepen understanding of cause-effect relationships & revenue-cost-profit relationships.

· Build confidence in utilizing the information contained in company financial statements and operating reports.

· Practice in sizing up a company’s situation, making sound, responsible business decisions, and being accountable for delivering good results.

The whole concept underlying The Business Strategy Game is to put participants in as realistic a company and competitive market setting as possible and have them manage all aspects of the company’s operations. This allows them to test their ideas about how to run a company in a competitive marketplace.

What can participants expect to learn?

· You and your co-managers will have to chart a long-term direction for your company, set and achieve strategic and financial objectives, craft a strategy, and adapt it to changing industry and competitive conditions.

· You’ll have to wrestle with a full array of industry statistics, company operating reports and financial statements, and an assortment of benchmarking data and competitive intelligence on what rivals are doing.

· You’ll have to match strategic wits with the managers of rival companies, “think strategically” about your company’s competitive market position, and figure out the kinds of actions it will take to outcompete rivals.

Learning to do all these things and gaining an appreciation of why they matter are the heart and soul of courses in business and business strategy.

The Business Strategy Game © is a registered trademark of GLO-BUS Software, Inc. Web site, server, and business simulation content are copyright © 2011 by GLO-BUS Software, Inc. All rights reserved.

Created by:

Arthur A. Thompson, Jr., John R. Miller Professor Emeritus of Business Administration,

The University of Alabama

Gregory J. Stappenbeck, GLO-BUS Software, Inc.

Mark A. Reidenbach, GLO-BUS Software, Inc.

Ira F. Thrasher, GLO-BUS Software, Inc.

Christopher C. Harms, GLO-BUS Software, Inc