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040162 UK Special Topics in Production/Logistics/SCM: Business Game to Production Management (2019S)

4.00 ECTS (2.00 SWS), SPL 4 - Wirtschaftswissenschaften
Continuous assessment of course work


Note: The time of your registration within the registration period has no effect on the allocation of places (no first come, first serve).


max. 24 participants
Language: English


Classes (iCal) - next class is marked with N

Prerequisites for participation: StEOP

This course is held in English. While this course does not require any prerequisites, a basic SCM/OR knowledge is strongly encouraged. Therefore, we recommend that interested students should have already completed the following lectures prior to this course: “ABWL: Produktion und Logistik” and “Special Topics in Produktion/Logistik/SCM: Supply Chain Managemen”. Please note that this course and the course “Special Topics in Produktion/Logistik/SCM: Produktionsmanagement” are independent of each other with regards to course content.

Attendance during the first lesson is mandatory, meaning that if a student is missing or not on time, they will be dropped from this course. (However, if one has a good reason why they cannot attend the first lesson or be there on time, please let your lecturer know in advance and they should be able to accommodate you.) Apart from the first lesson, each lesson is divided into two parts. The first part of a lesson is a regular lecture during which attendance is mandatory (two unexcused absences are permitted). Here, the lecturer covers the theory of this course. The second part of each lesson is reserved for so-called personal debriefing sessions. Here, each team (consisting of four students) is assigned a 20-minute time slot during which they discuss their outcome of the business game with the lecturer. Moreover, the lecturer provides feedback to the team and each student individually. Attendance is only mandatory during a team's assigned 20-minute time slot. The time slots for each team are announced after the first regular lesson. The exam takes place on 29 May 2019.

Thursday 07.03. 15:00 - 18:15 PC-Seminarraum 1 Oskar-Morgenstern-Platz 1 1.Untergeschoß
Thursday 14.03. 15:00 - 18:15 PC-Seminarraum 1 Oskar-Morgenstern-Platz 1 1.Untergeschoß
Thursday 21.03. 15:00 - 18:15 PC-Seminarraum 1 Oskar-Morgenstern-Platz 1 1.Untergeschoß
Thursday 28.03. 15:00 - 18:15 PC-Seminarraum 1 Oskar-Morgenstern-Platz 1 1.Untergeschoß
Thursday 04.04. 15:00 - 18:15 PC-Seminarraum 1 Oskar-Morgenstern-Platz 1 1.Untergeschoß
Thursday 11.04. 13:15 - 14:50 Seminarraum 4 Oskar-Morgenstern-Platz 1 1.Stock
Thursday 11.04. 15:00 - 18:15 PC-Seminarraum 1 Oskar-Morgenstern-Platz 1 1.Untergeschoß
Thursday 02.05. 15:00 - 18:15 PC-Seminarraum 1 Oskar-Morgenstern-Platz 1 1.Untergeschoß
Thursday 09.05. 15:00 - 18:15 PC-Seminarraum 1 Oskar-Morgenstern-Platz 1 1.Untergeschoß
Thursday 16.05. 15:00 - 18:15 PC-Seminarraum 1 Oskar-Morgenstern-Platz 1 1.Untergeschoß
Thursday 23.05. 15:00 - 18:15 PC-Seminarraum 1 Oskar-Morgenstern-Platz 1 1.Untergeschoß
Wednesday 29.05. 15:00 - 16:30 Hörsaal 5 Oskar-Morgenstern-Platz 1 Erdgeschoß


Aims, contents and method of the course


This course aims to further deepen and extend knowledge that was gained in the module “ABWL: Produktion und Logistik”. It addresses selected topics from transportation logistics (e.g., supplier selection based on, among other things, a supplier’s location), production management (e.g., Key Performance Indicators), and supply chain management (e.g., optimization of cross-department flows of resources). This course is part of the Alternatives Pflichtmodul “Produktion, Logistik und SCM” and Wahlfach “Wirtschaftsinformatik”. A software-based business game called “The Fresh Connection” is used, aiming to give participants a real-life supply chain experience within a simulated environment. This enables students to “playfully” apply their knowledge, hence broadening their subject-specific competences. Moreover, students are challenged to expand their problem-solving and decision-making skills as well as their cooperative skills (social skills), hence growing their interdisciplinary competences. After successfully completing this course, students
… gain specialized knowledge in production control systems and can recall and apply a wide range of production control methods correctly.
… are introduced to Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) specific to production management on an operative and strategic level. They can interpret provided KPIs adequately and they can autonomously derive KPIs from raw data.
… are challenged with multi-layered production-planning problems. They can recognize interrelated cause-and-effect relationships, contrive solution approaches, and implement corrective measures. Moreover, they can condense their analysis into concise business reports.
… improve their teamwork skills as the business game is played in teams of four. They coordinate their decisions and review potential outcomes as they understand cross-department trade-off relations within a simulated production facility.
… are incentivized to think outside the box and autonomously organize their work. They can face complex production-planning problems and conquer them by stretching the possibilities afforded by a restricted toolset.


In “The Fresh Connection” participants run a virtual company that produces orange juice. Students work in teams of four representing a corporate entity. Each student takes up a role as either the head of the purchasing, sales, operations, or supply chain department. Throughout the game, the students are making strategic and tactical decisions in their department. It is of utmost importance for the department heads to cooperate by aligning their local decisions such that they adhere to the chosen global business strategy. The students learn from analyzing/observing the simulated outcomes of their decisions. Particular emphasis is put on topics such as management of perishable goods, supply chain reliability, risk management, transportation planning, batch and frequency management, external collaboration, and operations planning.


“The Fresh Connection” can be accessed through any internet browser. Six rounds of the game are played throughout the semester. Before every round, the lecturer theoretically introduces the topics that will be addressed in the game using lecture slides. They explain the upcoming round and discuss the newly unlocked decisions. The students play the game outside class hours. Using excel spreadsheets, they document their analyses done while playing the game and summarize it in form of department reports. After every round, each team discusses the decisions taken and their effects with the lecturer during so-called personal debriefing sessions. Additionally, homework assignments are posted that investigate different aspects of the game. To ensure that the students explore the business game collaboratively, the homework assignments are designed as a group exercise. Finally, the lecturer provides continuous feedback in written form and in-person to each student individually.

Assessment and permitted materials


~~Individual performance~~
The performance of each member of a team is assessed individually and separately for every round. For every round of the game, each student creates an analytical report on their department’s performance and documents the corrective measures taken in order to address performance issues. Here, the choice of analytical methods and tools is up to each student individually. The purpose of this is to enhance autonomous work. During this process, students can consult their lecturer for any question. This ensures that the lecturer can support the students develop their problem-solving and decision-making skills in a more nuanced manner. The analysis and decisions are summarized in the form of a *department report* (Excel spreadsheet). The finished department reports are reviewed by the lecturer and written feedback is provided. Moreover, students that deliver outstanding performance are awarded bonus points.

For each round of the business game, a deadline is set until which the students have to complete their department reports and enter their decisions in the game. After that, the lecturer simulates each team’s orange juice production process taking into account the newly implemented decisions of each student. After the simulation of a round, students see how their company performed and discuss their decisions and outcome with their lecturer during their *personal debriefing* session. Here, students are challenged to demonstrate their understanding by answering in-depth questions on their decisions and the resulting outcome.

~~Homework assignments~~
The performance of each team is assessed collectively (each member of a team gets the same amount of points). In total, three *homework assignments* are posted throughout the semester. These group exercises stimulate each team to meet the course’s objectives by means of a joint effort.

After completing all six rounds of the business game, a pen-and-paper *exam* is held. Here, students are tested on the theory of the lecture slides and they demonstrate their analytical skills by e.g., interpreting department reports and recommending problem-solving approaches. It consists of multiple-choice questions, fill-in-the-blank questions, as well as open-ended questions.


A simple, non-programmable calculator and a non-annotated English dictionary are allowed during the exam.

Minimum requirements and assessment criteria


Attendance is mandatory (two unexcused absences are permitted). 50 points out of 100 must be earned in order to pass this course. The students’ scores will be regularly updated and kept track of in Moodle.


* [36 points] Department reports (individual performance) – additionally, up to 6 bonus points are awarded for outstanding performance
* [12 points] Personal debriefings (individual performance)
* [22 points] Homework assignments (group exercises)
* [30 points] Exam (pen-and-paper exam at the end of the course)

Grading scale:
* 1 (excellent) 100-88 points
* 2 (good) 87,9-75 points
* 3 (satisfactory) 74,9-63 points
* 4 (sufficient) 62,9-50 points
* 5 (insufficient) 49,9-0 points

Examination topics

Lecture slides, homework assignments, and "The Fresh Connection” business game.

Reading list

The business game and the course slides are based on the following literature. It is not required or necessary to purchase any of these books for the course.

Adriaansen, J. , Towards a well-balanced, agile company, Every Angle, August 2005
Baily, P. , Farmer, D. , Jessop, D. , Jones, D. , Purchasing Principles and Management, Prentice Hall, ninth edition, 2005
Carr, L. and Ittner, C. , Measuring the Cost of Ownership, Cost Management, 1992
Chopra, S. and Meindl, Supply Chain Management, Pearson Education, third edition, 2007
Christopher, M. , Logistics and Supply Chain Management, creating value-added networks, Prentice Hall, 2005
Degreave, Z. and Roodhooft, F. , Effectively selecting suppliers using Total Cost of Ownership, Journal of Supply Chain Management: a global review of purchasing and supply, 1999
Echtelt, F.E.A. van, Wynstra, F., Weele, A.J. van, Duysters, G, Managing supplier involvement in new product development, a multiple-case study, Journal of Product Innovation Management 25 (2008): 180-201
Fisher, M.L. , What is the right supply chain for your product ?, Harvard Business Review, March-April 1997
Global Commerce Initiative and Capgemini, 2016 Future Supply Chain, 2007
Kralingen, R. van en Jansen, M. , The end of traditional mass brands, brandchannel.com
Kraljic, P., Purchasing must become Supply Management, Harvard Business Review, September- October 1983
Liker, J.K. and Choi, T.Y. , Building Deep Supplier Relationships, Harvard Business Review, December 2004
Melnyk, S. et al, Outcome-driven supply chains, MITSloan Management Review, 2010
Slack, N. , Chambers, S. and Johnston, R. , Operations Management, Prentice Hall, 5th edition, 2007
Wallace, Thomas, F. , Sales & Operations Planning, Wallace & Co, third edition, 2008

Association in the course directory

Last modified: Mo 07.09.2020 15:28