Simformer Business Cup 2016
Summary: Simformer Business Cup, an international online management contest, took place in spring 2016. It attracted numerous participants from all over the world and from different walks of life: from Economics and Business Administration students to managers and business owners. But despite their differences, they were united by one goal- to compete and win in this exciting challenge and experience the incomparable virtual business environment of Simformer.
What we offered: The playground of the contest were two very popular Simformer business games: “Quest for Business Excellence: Retail”, which focuses on quality management and “Corporation in Distress”- an intense game, which tested participants’ abilities to lead huge corporations out of financial difficulties.
The format: In order to grasp the essence of Simformer business simulation and learn to navigate it, the participants were given access to the virtual environment a week prior to the contest.
The first stage of the contest started on 4 March and lasted two days.
The focus of the first stage was Quest for Business Excellence: Retail, one of the most popular Simformer business games. At the beginning of the contest each team received the same set of virtual business units: three stores in different geographical locations: a grocery store in the center of Barcelona (Spain), a supermarket in the center of Hamburg (Germany) and an auto salon in Los Angeles (The USA). The initial capital of each of the team was 10 000 000 in virtual currency.
The teams could choose various types of businesses other than retail. They could step out of their comfort zone and invest into mining, manufacturing, wholesale, service sector, and R&D. A lot of participants used this opportunity and thought outside the box, which eventually helped them win at the end.
The first stage was also the eliminating stage as well: the participants whose companies managed to generate profit proceeded to the second stage automatically and were a part of the Professional League. The participants, whose companys had negative balance by th end of the first stage, and the ones, who did notparticipate in it at all, became a part of the Amateur League. The contest’s second stage took place on 8 April. Three days before the start of the second stage of Simformer Business Cup, the participants of both Professional and Amateur League received access to Simformer Business Simulation virtual environment. The game scenario used during the training period was the same as the one during the first stage. The game scenario of the second stage, however, was completely different.
"Corporation in Distress", a popular Simformer business game, was chosen as the second stage’s competition scenario. The goal was rather simple-they had to optimize all business processes in failing subdivisions and lead their companies out of crisis. But the way to achieve that goal, however, was complicated and required various important skills, such as team work, effective decision- making and time management.
Throughout the two stages, the participants were able to watch live steaming of game news at end of each game turn (excluding the night time). They could watch «Business News» and «Breaking News», hosted by Minvydas Latauskas, Head of Product Developemnt at Simformer. During these live sessions he talked about the situation in the virtual world: the results and rating of virtual companies. The participants could also ask questions and receive answers in the chat. In the last online session Mr. Latauskas revealed the final results of the contest. The results were posted in Simformer Facebook group, where the participants were posting throughout the whole contest.
The challenges: Apart from the challeneges that normally exist in any competition, like making right decisions within accelatrated timeframes, devising strategies to outperform competititors, the participants of Simformer Business Cup had to deal with other challeging cirtumscances as well. They had to be active and alert for 30 hours during the first stage! One of the participants has stated that The most difficult part was to be work ing the whole 30-hour period. Despite the fact that we were very tired and had very little sleep, it was a great experience and all of us became very good friends. The fact that we had to work within very strict timeframes was exciting: each time we had only one hour to make very important decisions.
Naturally, not everybody had such strong endurance: only 42% virtual companies were able to complete a 30-hour period with a positive profit. Only the strongest ones could win in such tough conditions.
The second stage, although shorter in duration, brought its share of challenges as well. The participants had arduos and time-concuming task of leading their companies out of crisis during only 8 hours!
Results and feedback: The winners of the contests were selected based on several criteria. Only one team managed to win in all nominations and became the ultimate Simformer Business Cup champions. But there were other participants, who reached high scores in other categories and were declared the winners as well.
The ultimate winner was a team from the University of Craiova (Romania).
The team members wisely delegated the responsibilities among each other and were able to improve the weak points and lead the corporation out of financial crisis and also establish a well-developed business.
The runner-up of the Professional League was Denis Miscisin (Moldova), who was competing on as a solo player. His company very successful, and he achieved that on his own merit!
The third place was divided among two teams from Ukraine (Zhytomyr State Technological University and Zhytomyr Ivan Franko State University). Both teams were very careful with their investment moves and preferred not to take risks.
The ultimate leaders in the Amateur League were the teams from the University of Banking of the National Bank of Ukraine (Kharkov, Ukraine). All three teams form this university won the first, second and third places in the contest. The teams were a part of an Amateur League, because they were not able to take part in the first stage. Nevertheless, they managed to adapt to intense conditions of the contest and achieve impressive results. The teams from the University of Craiova (Romania) and Vilnius University (Lithuania) and the team from the Netherlands were among the winning teams as well.
We can say with utmost confidence that Simformer Business Cup 2016 was a great success. It was a fun yet serious competition that provided the participants with a lot of opportunities to challenge themselves on many levels: they were able to test their entrepreneurial and management skills, work as a united team and curb their personal ambitions, while putting the interests of the team at the forefront.
Sergey Menshchikov, Founder & CEO:
There are many reasons why we organized Simformer Business Cup 2016. First of all, we wanted to introduce our educational and training solutions to the international audience. We wanted to show that we offer a unique tool for practice-oriented learning of management. Secondly, we wanted to gain feedback about our platform from a large number of users. The third reason was that we wanted to try out different methods in organizing massive management contests on Simformer platform. Simformer Business Cup 2016 was our first competition and it was a success: we managed to attract hundreds of participants from 40 countries with mostly no marketing and advertising expenses! We can confidently say that Simformer is an unparalleled solution for such massive online events. The universities and as well as businesses can organize such online contests and competitions on Simformer platform on their own, choosing their own scenario, format, intensity, and the number of participants from any geographical location. Moreover, we wanted to see whether there is a demand for management contests in general. It turned out that there is a very big demand for such events, and Simformer is, apparently, the only educational platform that can satisfy the demands of education and corporate training market.
Diana Bobaru, the captain of the winning team (The University of Craiova, Romania):
Simformer Business Cup is an opportunity that each of us should experience. Simformer gave us the opportunity to learn how the real business is, to see how it is to order something from a supplier and not to receive it. I also learned what real obstacles young people, who are just getting started in the business, may face. But nothings beats the feeling of achieving the goals you set for yourself. Making decisions together helped us learn how to work in a team. There were 6 of us in the team and we all had the chance to apply our theoretical knowledge in practice.
Denis Miscisin, the winner of the first stage and the runner-up in the second stage (Moldova):
It was fun participating and competing in Simformer Business Cup 2016. The game was very interesting and educational.
A Business Case at UniCredit Bank, Romania.
Summary: On June 25-26, 2015 at the headquarters of UniCredit Group’s Tiriac Bank in Bucharest, Romania, the members of two senior management teams challenged one another and themselves in a business game, developed by Simformer.
What we offered: A business game «Corporation in a Distress».
The format: 24 top managers had to make quick and effective decisions, as they were given only 6 hours to lead their companies out of crisis and make them profitable. The game lasted for 2 days: the participants played in teams on 25 June and individually on 26 June. A team of trained Simformer specialists, Dr. Andrei Fedorov (Head of Educational Programs), Minvydas Latauskas Adelina Nalivaikaite-Karelidze (Key Account Manager) moderated the game and provided player guidance and support.
The challenges: The business game «Corporation in a Distress» provided a challenging scenario for both the team and individual players who had to manage their financially troubled businesses. The simulation also provided opportunities to test the essential business skills, including decision- making, prioritizing, strategical thinking, teambuilding and leadership.
Training and new skill development was the additional purpose of the game. UniCredit’s HR specialists received comprehensive player performance reports for employee assessment. The participants had to adapt to a rapidly changing business environment and find a needed solution in intense gameplay conditions. The virtual economy of Simformer Business Simulation provided an unpredictable and fluctuating business environment.
Results and feedback: Dr. Andrei Fedorov commented: “It was amazing how open and active the participants were. They had to take on management duties in completely different areas of business. That only serves to show how competent and professional the Credit Tiriac Bank top management is.”
Minvydas Latauskas: Spectacular stress resistance and level of involvement. No matter how hard it was, they managed to cope and stay focused and face challenges with a smile. Even though it was new environment and a huge amount of data to process, the participants did not stop and kept on moving. It is very rear to have such talented and professional participants.
Adelina Nalivaikaite-Karelidze: During both the group and individual games, the participants were extremely organized, analytical, and fast learning leaders. It was a pleasure to work with such individuals and observe the way they created their strategies for the following game turn from very beginning, asking the right questions, seeking knowledge, and sharing it among each other. The best part was when a team or a member made a mistake, which led them to a huge loss, and how, after a careful analysis, they managed to correct their mistakes and win a round or the whole game.
I want to thank Simformer team for this wonderful course, it was an extremely beneficial experience for me both as a human and as a manager!“
„This learning experience was more than OK because it was different, I was expecting something else and I was very surprised by such high level of organization and knowledge from the moderators.
A really great learning experience and I will dare to challenge myself again Simformer Business Simulation virtual environment.
A Quality Management Course at Vilnius University
Summary: Simformer Business Simulation (SBS) was introduced as a part of a Quality Management course at Vilnius University. Dr. Dalius Serafinas, a Vilnius University professor, has developed the course using SBS, a multi-user Simformer business simulation environment. The course lasted for three months - from March untill May, 2015.
What the client requested: The goal of the course was to teach the students the key business processes, to identify the main quality factors in every business process, and evaluate the impact of quality factors and their fluctuation. Moreover, the students had to learn how to adapt and solve various problems that arose in a dynamic virtual economy in order to control the production quality. But most importantly, this course was aimed at developing students‘ practical skills.
What we offered: The students had to manage virtual factories in SBS business simulation environment.
The format: A total of 60 students (22 virtual companies) took part in the course. The students started managing their virtual companies in the simulation in early March. During this period, the students had the chance to learn how to work in SBS and fully engage in all processes. In April they had a very important task- they had to make presentaionsions to real businessmen and show the results of their virtual businesses. Several representatives from various Lithuanian companies were invited to take part in this course and play the roles of investors. The students had to make presentations to them in order to spark their interest and, hopefully, invest in students' companies. This task was given specifically to test students‘ presentation skills. In May the students had to pass the examination in Quality Management course. The examination was based on the results of their virtual compnaies.The results were impressive: 20 profitable companies, including 3 billionaires, and only 2 companies were bankrupt.
The challenges: During the course, the students encountered numerous challenges. That is understandable, because the simulation is abundant with various processes and possibilities. The students had to work hard and ensure they made the right business moves and choose the right strategy to outsmart the competition and make their business ventures profitable.
Results and feedback : The winner: I have learned a great deal about international markets and taxing. The work in SBS gave me the chance to interact with other players, make mutual decisions with them. But mostly of all, I learned how to plan and implement business strategies that would generate profit and keep my business profitable in the long run.
Dr. Professor Dalius Serafinas: I was impressed by the capacities of Simformer sim-based online solution. The simulation provides a perfect combination of theory and practice. Since the simultion includes all key business proceeses, it allows instructors to teach various subject at once. Moreover, such practical game-based tools guarantee student engagement and reduce teacher preparation time.
A Business Competition at Palestine Polytechnic University
Summary: On 14 January, 2016 The Palestine Polytechnic University with Simformer.com have conducted the first academic competition in Simformer Business Simulation .
What the client requested: The university was intrested in conducting a massive event for Economics and Business Management students.
What we offered: An online business game «Corporation in Distress», which focuses on developing students‘ strategic and analytical thinking skills. In addition to that, one of the main focuses of the game was team work: the students made all their decisions together. Due to that, the participants were able to develop their collaborative skills, provide help to others and ask for help, and put the interests of the whole team first. The team work during the game revealed the communication and leadership skills of each participant.
The format: 150 students from the College of Administrative Sciences and Informatics took part in the competition. It was attended by the students of all specializations: e-marketing, entrepreneurship, accounting, and project management. The dean of the faculty of Management and Information Systems, lecturers, the administration, and other students were present at the event. The participants were divided into 30 teams. Every team got access to SBS virtual business environment. 5 lecturers and the head of the department of Management Sciences, moderated the game process.The participants of each team had to manage a huge corporation, which was faced with financial difficulties. The corporation consisted of various subdivisions responsible for manufacturing and sales. The subdivisions were connected with each other as well as the external suppliers, contractors, and customers. The goal of the game was to lead the corporation out of crisis and stabilize its processeses.
The weakest subdivisions were a clothing store and an auto salon. It order to make them profitable, one had to have skills in various areas, such as financial and market analysis, management and decision-making. The assignment had to be performed under tight time constrains, because the students had only 6 hours to play the game. There were 5 game updates in total; the changes to the companies in SBS environment were made based on the actions of the teams, therefore students had only 1hour to make important decisions that would eventually have an impact on their corporation.
The challenges: The participants had to perform various assignments.
They had to:
• identify weak subdivisions,
• improve business processes in weak subdivisions and reach a break-even point level,
• increase the productivity in other subdivisions,
• develop and implement a business expansion plan.
The assignments, their consistency, and the timeframe for conducting them were strictly supervised by the game moderators. The scenario was set up that way that the number of assignments often exceeded students’ capabilities. This allowed the participants to learn how to work in stressful situations: keeping calm when multitasking, working under tight time constrains, making decisions under strict supervision.
Results and feedback: After 6 hours of fierce competition, 6 teams made their corporations a bankrupt, and 3 teams became leaders.
The winners were selected based on three categories: • Revenue- winner results: 1.3 million of virtual currency,
• Total Assets- winner results: 15.3 million of virtual currency,
• Profit-winner results: 5000 virtual currency units.
But the most important result of the game was that the students were able to have a taste of what they would have to do in a professional life. They also learned how necessary is the knowledge that their lectures share with them on a daily basis, and, most importantly, they are able to apply the acquired knowledge in practice. The lecturers also received valuable experience that would help them incorporate various teaching methods during their lectures.
Anas Mohammed Tardei, one of the participants:
This event was the most memorable moment in my academic life. The game was relevant to why I am studying in this university, which is to be an entrepreneur and establish my own business in the future. I used to be lacking in hands-on experience, but now I know how I can improve myself in a chosen industry. With the help of Simformer game we were able to revise and apply the knowledge that we had acquired during our lectures. We all had to reinforce our knowledge in production organization, marketing, finance, PR, negotiating. It was difficult, but we learned that we were able to overcome the barriers,compete and negotiate.
All players received the certificates of participation, and the participants of the winning teams were awarded with the diplomas as the winners of the «Corporation in a Distress» business game.
The academic competition was highly praised by the university management team. Simformer and PPU are planning to develop further collaboration. At the moment, both parties are negotiating to incorporate Simformer business games into a regular study process, as well as carrying out academic competitions against other universities.
Minvydas Latauskas, Head of Product Development at Simformer, provided online support for the lecturers and carried out an online moderation of the game. Here are his impressions:
A small resort town was chosen deliberately. The emergence of 30 similar corporations in a small area caused rapid development of the region. The market was very crowded, which was exactly what we were looking for. After all, our colleagues at the Palestine Polytechnic University asked to create difficult conditions for the participants, and we did it. The changing demand for different product groups added to the overall complexity of the game. Therefore, the participants had to devise and combine different strategies for each sector. Not everyone was able to do it, I must say. But those who managed to find an effective combination of strategies came out victorious. Inefficient use of advertising budget was a common problem of all participants. Such competitions are a great opportunity to identify the areas of students’ progress, identify possible knowledge gaps and eliminate them effectively.
The weakest subdivisions were a clothing store and an auto salon. It order to make them profitable, one had to have skills in various areas, such as financial and market analysis, management and decision-making. The assignment had to be performed under tight time constrains, because the students had only 6 hours to play the game. There were 5 game updates in total; the changes to the companies in SBS environment were made based on the actions of the teams, therefore students had only 1 hour to make important decisions that would eventually have an impact on their corporation.
An Education Summit in Edinburgh
Summary: At the end of September, the representative of Simformer participated in a two-day event in Edinburgh. The event was initiated by iSpace, a well- known education company and Simformer’s partner from Poland. The goal of the event was to gather participants with academic background and test the impact of innovation on education industry.
What we offered: They had a chance to play «Corporation in a Distress», a business game, which was moderated by Minvydas Latauskas, Head of Product Development at Simformer.
The format: On 23 September Simformer Business Simulation environment was demostrated to the participants from Polish universities. On 24 September, the participants were involved in a different type of activity - a discussion on the topic of gamification and business simulations.
The challenges: The main goal of the game was to test participants’ abilities to make effective decisions within harsh time constraints, the ability to think outside the box, as well as the skills in the field of crisis management and systematic approach. The participants had to lead their virtual companies out of crisis and stabilize business processes.
Results and feedback: The participants discussed the role of gamification and simulations in education. Furthermore, they discussed the possibility to use Simformer platform for developing new generation educational products and how they would impact business education. At the end of the discussion the participants came to an agreement that Simformer is the best solution for practice-oriented learning. After the event, Simformer received very positive feedback on the game from the organizers and the participants of the event.
A Training Session for Moldova Enrepreneurs
Summary: On 19 March, 2016 Young Entrepreneurs Club (KMB) in Moldova organized the first practical management training in Simformer Business Simulation virtual environment.
What the client requested: The participants wanted to test their buisness skills and see how running a company in business simulation can impact real-life business ventures.
What we offered: a business game «Corporation in a Distress».
The format: A total of 6 teams (15 participants) were leading their virtual companies out of financial crisis. The participants were mainly HR managers, entrepreneurs and business owners.
They had a lot of fun working in the simulation environment, and only one team was unsuccessful: their virtual company went bankrupt. Based on their results, they were able to analyze the mistakes that were made. Their biggest misstep was that they overspent on marketing campaign, which eventually brought their company down. The most successful company was the one, managed by the employees of Young Entrepreneurs Club.
Olga Colesnikova: As a business trainer, I always put a special focus on the practical part of all my training sessions. I am sure that the participants can develop necessary skills and gain the required knowledge only by performing practical assignments. That is why I always create my own training games and simulations as well as look for such methods online. Simformer is definitely the most important practical tool for management training. In the future I am planning to create my own scenarios using Simformer business simulation; Simformer provides a wonderful opportunity to help participants try out and implement various business strategies in a risk-free environment.
A Healthcare Course in Austria
Summary: University of Applied Sciences (FH KREMS)
What the client requested: The medical students at the University of Applied Sciences (Austria) wanted to take a look at a medical profession from a business angle: the managing of medical institutions, supply chain, logistics, price setting of medical products and services, employee recruiting and training.
What we offered: a course in Healthcare Management, using Simformer business simulation virtual environment.
The format: 30 students are taking part in a three-month course. They started the course on 2 March, 2016 and are expected to finish at the end of May.