WAGNER Group: Leadership Development with TOPSIM – Business Games


The WAGNER Group is one of the world‘s leading manufacturers of innovative technology for the finishing of surfaces with powder and wet coatings, paints, and other liquid materials. The equipment and systems of the international Group are used in industry, in the trades and by do-it-yourself enthusiasts. Around 1700 employees worldwide work in 16 operating companies on three continents. The biggest is located in Markdorf at Lake Constance, Germany, and employs around 500 people.

Client Challenge

Due to its world wide presence, the WAGNER Group has international employees as well as international clients. Development impulses are offered annually to selected employees as part of the talent management process. In 2020, around 40 people were defined globally with different hierarchical levels/professional experience. Two groups took part in simulation games: the so-called „professionals“, who will decide on a specialist or management career in the future, and the „managers“, who are already in a management career. The focus of the programm is on networking and exchange with other members of the team, for generating a deeper insight in other functions and branches. Cross-collaborative, divisional, and international thinking should be encouraged to work stronger and better with each other.

Business Games Wagner Group

Our Solution

In order to optimally respond to the objectives and framework conditions of the WAGNER Group, we used TOPSIM – Manufacturing Management (group professionals) as well as TOPSIM – Scale Up (group managers) for the seminars. Apart from the simulation, the participants needed to do some additional tasks, like an advertising campaign or their positioning within the market. After the last game period, the general meeting took place. The participants presented their stratgies, their decision making processes and their personal learnings. The management was present at the beginning and at the end of the seminars. With the teams, they discussed the transfer of their knowledge and their developed strategies to their own working reality.

The Value for the Client

Based on the simulations TOPSIM – Manufacturing Management and TOPSIM – Scale Up, the seminar could support the (future) executives as follows:

  • Both groups learned how to evaluate the company data and asses the consequences of their decision making.
  • In TOPSIM – Manufacturing Management, the teams
    learned how to operate forward-looking in a dynamic competetive environment.
  • In TOPSIM – Scale Up, future managers deepend their knowledge in order to develop and implement forward-looking strategies for achieving their goals

The participants got insights in into the overall management of a company. They reflected transferred the knowledge to the daily work environment. It encoraged coordination & cooperation in an international and interdisciplinary team.

Classroom Seminar with TOPSIM – Manufacturing Management at HFWI

Classroom Seminar with TOPSIM – Manufacturing Management at HFWI

At the KV Luzern University of Cooperative Education those who already have an education in business administration or computer science can attend the HFWI. 22 students participated in a classroom seminar with TOPSIM – Manufacturing Management. The simulation had an excellent learning effect, as it was a good mix of challenge and game.

Hacemos negocio – International Seminar with TOPSIM at DHBW Stuttgart

Hacemos negocio – International Seminar with TOPSIM at DHBW Stuttgart

Studying international business usually means gaining experience abroad. Unfortunately, Covid 19 changed the plans for the students at DHBW Stuttgart and their trip abroad in the fourth semester was cancelled. For this reason, the Center for Management Simulations organized a substitute for the international exchange and found it in a simulation-based seminar together with the Escuela Universitaria de Ingeniería Dual in northern Spain.

Entrepreneurial Thinking with TOPSIM – Startup at BHAK BHAS Stegersbach

Entrepreneurial Thinking with TOPSIM – Startup at BHAK BHAS Stegersbach

The BHAK BHAS Stegersbach offers a very special learning unit for its students: With STARTUP, the school developed its very own subject to gain basic, tangible insights into business life and to promote entrepreneurial thinking. Mario Zartl, the initiator and director of the program, explains to us how the business game TOPSIM – Startup contributes to this practical module.