LEARNING SUPPLY CHAIN MANAGEMENT DYNAMICS THROUGH USE OF AN INTERACTIVE ONLINE GAME
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Supply chains consist of a multitude of processes related to procurement, manufacturing, inventory, transportation, logistics, distribution, and so on. These processes are subject to various sources of variability and randomness, and generally, involve activities of several independent business entities. One of the challenges of teaching Supply Chain Management (SCM) themes is that traditional students often have no – or limited – practical work experience and then have several difficulties in translating conceptual knowledge into a concrete plan of action. The use of only textbooks may be inadequate to present the real-world complexities of supply chains and, more importantly, put students in the position of managers and decision-makers who have to make real practical decisions. Simulation games, however, provide an alternative pedagogical approach that can assist the understanding of theories, put ideas into action and educate in an interactive and enjoyable way. This paper presents an example of a web-hosted spreadsheet game bridging the gap between the theoretical and practical aspects of SCM. The model can be used to learn a wide range of SCM aspects including demand forecasting, production, inventory and transportation management as well as demand elasticity and marketing related aspects. Moreover, the game explicitly addresses sustainability topic by considering control policies on carbon emissions.
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