Perdue Students Compete in Inter-Collegiate ERP Simulation Competition
By Drs. Kathie Wright and Karen Papke-Shields
On Friday, November 10, 14 Perdue School students participated in a “virtual” inter-collegiate competition using the ERPsim Logistics Game to manage simulated supply chains in real time. Perdue fielded four of the 25 teams, competing with students from five other universities: Delaware State, University of Delaware, Rider, Widener and Penn State-York. Each team’s objective was to achieve the highest company (team) valuation, accounting for operation costs as well as company sales.
During the game, students enacted strategic and tactical decisions via an SAP enterprise system, posting transactions to forecast sales, manage inventory, create purchase orders and adjust prices. Team work and effective communication are central to success. Real-time feedback via system reports and a business intelligence dashboard allowed students to monitor profit margins, current inventory and sales levels to determine appropriate pricing. To add a logistical challenge, students had to optimize inventory in a central warehouse and three regional warehouses to ensure that stock was available to fulfill sales orders while minimizing transportation costs across their company’s external and internal supply chain.
The simulation is fast-paced and team rankings can shift markedly between game rounds. Despite minimal prior exposure, the Perdue School students performed well. The highest placing team finished in third place; the other teams were in the middle of the pack, and the lowest placing team made steady improvements over the six rounds after a bumpy start. It was a great opportunity for Perdue School students to connect their experience learning enterprise system transactions with how companies use the resulting information in their day-to-day operations and to achieve strategic objectives.