The expensive envelope

Remember that expensive envelope I bought? It contained a one page code to my final evaluation for my final MBA class. The program is called CAPSIM and here is a description of what it is. Our class is divided into 6 teams, we are Ferris and all our products start with ‘F’ (it was very tempting to use F in a naughty way when naming our new product) and we have 3 people on our team, most others have 4. We just finished a practice round and I have to say my team rocked it. It is 8 rounds and our crazy teacher started the simulation on a Monday and didn’t really tell anyone so the next Monday we all see we are (equally) tragically behind. From there we panicked, not only were we behind but we didn’t really even know how to use the program! We each spent hours figuring it out in different ways and over the next week we each took a turn to do a set of decisions alone so we would totally know the program. We explored every corner of this thing, we tossed money at everything, we issued stock, we seriously put the program through its paces and we made some big and funny errors like selling a production line by accident and missing the deadline on one decision round so we had nutty things in the draft that got accepted but here are the result;

So wow, ok, we are not THAT good but its pretty satisfying to see. On the other hand, I am one of the few people in the class with actual manufacturing and forecasting and R&D experience and so far, the simulation does ring true to what is supposed to happen. Unfortunately, I think our skill was bolstered by the fact that the other teams took a nap? You can see that Erie tried to sell 100% of their production in the final round, that was something we thought about trying but didn’t do – it will be interesting to see how the teacher debriefs on this one. There is a very detailed document that comes out every round saying what the ‘public’ would know about a companies spending so we know for sure we spent the most in sales and advertising, and we know we are the ONLY ones to put money into TQM (total quality management). TQM actually worked better in the game then I’ve ever witnessed in real life… thats one of our top things to invest in next round. Anyway, its a hectic game but I think we have our feet under us now. Once you know how to do the moves each round I think each round will take max 30min and that includes alot of double checking and balancing. The cool thing is you get instant feedback on how a decision effects your company so you don’t accidently spend too much provided you are careful and do your checks.

That is one of the million plates I have spinning but its nice that we won the first round. 2 to go and these ones are graded so we need to be slightly less reckless (although… it did work for us…)


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