At the KV Luzern University of Cooperative Education those who already have an education in business administration, information technology or similar field can attend the Higher Technical School for Business Information Technology. Students complete 6 semesters alongside their job to obtain a diploma in business informatics. The course consists of practical modules, including the simulation-based seminar with TOPSIM – Manufacturing Management – this year even again as a face-to-face event.
Classroom Seminar with a Safety Concept
The simulation-based seminar took place in May for three days in a hotel as a face-to-face event. A total of 22 students (4 students in each team) under the guidance of Mr. Reto De Martin played six periods of the business game. For the seminar a special safety concept was designed: The plenary room was seated with a distance of 1.5 meters, additionally the participants wore a mask. In the group rooms, work was also carried out at a distance.
The first day started with the groups getting together. The companies were first to develop a strategy and a mission statement and to work out key figures, for the balanced score card. The next two days the business simulation periods were played, with subsequent evaluation by Mr. De Martin.
Why TOPSIM – Manufacturing Management?
Students usually play the management game in the sixth semester. Before that, they already cover modules on business management, with the areas of marketing, financing and leadership. The business game formed a kind of capstone course and linked the previous topics. It also realistically reflected the corporate structure of the participants’ jobs: many of them did not work in huge corporations, but in medium-sized companies. In addition, the marketing of the bicycle product was easy to follow.
Learnings and Feedback
To prepare for the seminar, Mr. De Martin gave an introductory session. In addition, the participants had to take an online test to show that they had worked through the manual for the game. After the simulation, a reflection report had to be prepared. In a team part, the strategy, the BSC and the decisions were reflected. In the individual part, key insights about their own contribution and their impact on the group dynamics were to be elaborated. Key figures from the business game, such as the share price, also counted in a small part for the ECTS.
The participants were consistently enthusiastic about the seminar, especially since it had been the first face-to-face event in months during the home office year. The simulation had an excellent learning effect, as it was a good mix of challenge and game. The competitive atmosphere was additionally motivating. Mr. De Martin would like to continue using TOPSIM – Manufacturing Management in the future, but would also consider incorporating additional tasks, for example on assessment.
We would like to thank Mr. Reto De Martin for this insight into his seminar and are looking forward to further exciting seminar designs! Here are a few impressions from this year’s event: