Manufacturing

Manufacturing is one of the three simulated games available in ERPsim. In manufacturing, teams of three to four students operate a cash-to-cash cycle with the business processes of procurement, production, and sales (Eeger, 2006). These teams are asked to operate a make-to-stock muesli manufacturing facility. The simulation operates in real time and tasks students with creating sales forecasts, procuring raw material, producing six variations of muesli, and selling the finished product in one of three various distribution channels to potential business customers. In this process, students analyze transactional data to make business decisions with the ultimate goal of being the most profitable company (as measured by net income) within the industry.

Charland, Eeger, Cronan, and Robert (2015) explain that ERPsim was developed in 2004 and has been adopted by 832 various professors, lecturers, and professional trainers over 377 universities worldwide. The main appeal to this particular simulation is that students directly interact with the ERP software in order to make business decisions for their company allowing for students to “learn about the outcome and resultant consequences of their decisions and their effects on the company overall”. Furthermore the ERP simulation

Offers students the opportunity to reflect, test and find out what works and what does not, and gain insight into business processes, information systems, business strategy, managerial decision making, analytics and team dynamics. This game provides students with process guidelines and tools that enable real-time collaboration and collection of process data and incorporates disciplined reflection, a key requirement for deep learning.

Given the need to educate business students in ERP concepts, the Management Information Systems course began in the fall of 2013 utilizing ERPsim in order to provide students with the hands-on engagement of SAP. After almost three years, the course has matured and developed to not only utilize the simulation to cover ERP concepts but to begin to tie fundamental business concepts to the course to see the ramification of the decisions rendered for their businesses in the simulated environment.