Last Updated 20 Jun 2022

Business Strategy Game

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Overview Looking back over the last 5 weeks of the Business Strategy Game there were several areas where Company Emergent could have improved and did very well. This paper will provide an in-depth analysis of Emergent’s approach to managing their Emergent footwear company, the growth experienced through the process, and lessons learned. In addition, recommendations for improvement are provided should the game be played again. Strategic vision of Emergent “Always move forward “. Emergent exists to create value for our shareowners on a long term basis by building a business that enhances Emergent footprints.

Usability The first week of the simulation game was the first point where Emergent suffered in comparison to the competition. From a human factors perspective, the game presents a significant amount of information overload that is difficult for any human to process all at once with minimal to no training. The fact that the game comes with a 34 page manual speaks volumes to this point, and it is difficult to absorb all of the complex information presented in this manual. There should have been a quick tips and key points of interest to get the students started and that was nowhere to be found.

In addition, it was not obvious that there were video tours for each and every page of decision points; this wasn’t realized until week 2. Again, this is a symptom of too much information bombarding a new user. This analysis is not provided to place blame on the game for some of Emergent’s issues, but rather to provide a human factors analysis of usability considerations (one group member is a certified human factors professional) to help improve future uses of this game and help provide students with the tools to succeed given the design drawbacks of the game interface and the human error impacts associated with the design.

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Recommendation: Create a quick tips and facts sheet to assist the first time user with functionality. Consider a more comprehensive overview of the site and a more representative demo of a few years of mock operation to illustrate how the software works. In addition, understanding the value of the video tours and the industry reports earlier in the process is critical for a team to be able to fully utilize the industry reports effectively from the start. Learning Curve

It took 3 years of decision entries, Y11-Y13, to fully understand how all of the decision elements interacted with one another to drive or negatively impact profits, which caused some decrements in company performance initially. In addition, it also took 3 years to fully understand what the industry and the counterintelligence data was indicating and how to effectively apply it to Emergent’s competitive advantage. However, once the data was better understood and applied effectively the company was able to be turned around from a negative profit and credit rating situation.

Recommendation: Understanding that some of the importance of the game is learning how things work and how decisions impact a company’s bottom line, it would be beneficial to have a few practice trials to initially understand the game better than just trial and error. Capacity After consulting the players guide, the decision in year 3 was made to invest in increased capacity to meet the projected future growth demand in the Asia Pacific and Latin American region. This decision early in the game, without sufficient equity available from profits, caused Emergent to temporarily plunge in credit rating and profitability.

Recommendation: Ensure current capacity is utilized effectively and earning sufficient revenue to justify purchase of additional capacity based on projected growth data. Demand, Production and Inventory Understanding the interplay between the sales forecast for the coming year, warehouse costs for inventory, required production distribution and impact of reject costs was critical for ensuring that the company was able to deliver and meet the market demands and achieve profitability.

Unfortunately, it took several years before it was clear how to manage distribution effectively and more time should have been spent entering decisions more carefully for the first 3 years. In addition, more aggressive investment in facility upgrades would have improved costs incurred with facility inefficiencies, worker productivity and rejected product costs. Recommendation: Invest more time in the analysis of the market and the decision making process to ensure decisions are complimentary.

This is critical in order to attain adequate production levels to meet market demands, achieve minimum surplus and no inventory shortfalls to reduce costs incurred from inefficient warehouse usage, and invest in facility upgrades early on to reduce reject costs and increase net revenues with more sellable products for increased long term earning potential. Pricing, Model Availability, and S/Q rating The ability to effectively price the product at a level to reach the widest possible market is heavily dependent of differentiation from the market with quality and model availability.

Initially, the team favored focusing on fewer model generated in favor of differentiating via higher quality models and creating a niche market. This tactic worked initially, however it allowed the competition to gain a competitive advantage through larger variation of product offerings at lower quality. Recommendation: Invest early on in product model availability to increase competitive edge. The ability to offer more product choices coupled with Emergent’s focused on higher quality products could have increased the return on equity achievable in the later years.

Advertising and Celebrity Appeal Emergent’s initial investments in advertising and celebrity contracts were very conservative and minimal in terms of celebrity contracts for the first few years. It took several years of activity to fully appreciate the gains realized by competitors from more aggressive advertising tactics and celebrity endorsements. More aggressive contract biding and advertising was attempted for years 15-18, but the profit potential was not as great had this been a strategy used from the very beginning.

In many cases, Emergent lost out on a number of contracts for low bids. Recommendation: To increase Emergent’s market share and selling point of its product lines, Emergent should increase the number of celebrity contract bids and the associated bid amounts to attain a larger market share and increased revenues. Summary Successful and innovative businesses are built on strong and cohesive teams, effective strategies and the ability to recognize and seize opportunities before the competition. Emergent could have benefitted from stronger team interaction and communication.

The inability to work cohesively as a team decreased Emergent’s ability to maximize the company’s performance profits by leveraging the skills of each player effectively and strategically. The more eyes on the problem the better and more innovative the solution and the higher the likelihood you will identify strategic opportunities to increase performance and long term success. Had there been stronger and greater team interaction, certain opportunities for Emergent may have been more obvious or recognized earlier in the game simulation helping to create a greater competitive edge.

Business Strategy Game essay

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