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FAQ

 

 

Frequently Asked Questions for MBE Simulations
Education Sector

 

1.     What differentiates MBE Simulations from other solutions?

2.     What are the benefits of simulated learning for operations management training?

3.     How are MBE Simulations products used in universities?

4.     What added-value do MBE Simulations offer university professors?

5.     How does simulator practice equip students for real-world managerial positions?

6.     What are the differences between the previous version (MICSS™ – The OT™) and the new version of MERP™?

 

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1.     What differentiates MBE Simulations from other solutions?

 

Whatever the scenario, instructor led workshops, online learning for universities or other applications for corporations, MBE Simulations stands apart from the competition because of it's dynamic, day-by-day rather than periodic nature. MBE Simulations brings through practical experience a broader view of business acumen by focusing on collaboration and execution of managerial duties rather than strategic issues. The table below details some of the key benefits of dynamic rather than periodic or strategic learning:

 

 

 

Business Games

Strategic or Finance

Dynamic Management Workshop MBE Simulations

Comparison Criteria

Strategic

Investments, penetration of a new market, etc.

Realistic, daily-based events that effect the organization’s results

Decision Type

Mandatory periodical set of decisions (i.e. quarterly)

Dynamic decision making. Choosing when and which decision to make in parallel with the evolving KPI status

Decision Making

Direct competition based on sales, reflected periodically. The dynamic is limited to competition only

Teams are competing based on actual benchmark results. Scenarios are stochastic, reflecting turbulent daily business life

Competitive Nature

The game runs once, cannot be repeated

Reinforced learning:

Repeated runs of the same organization

Learning Effectiveness

Strategic company navigation

Managerial & business insights built upon tactical daily experience gained: Cause & effect, system thinking, and accepting and dealing with uncertainty

Learning Scope

 

 

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2.     What are the benefits of simulated learning for operations management training?

 

The MBE Simulations tool addresses the questions raised by operations management courses. Topics include: Forecasting, master production scheduling, capacity planning, purchasing practices, inventory modules and performance management to name a few. With the simulator rather than reading a text explaining the theory, these management practices and concepts are understood by illustration. The mechanisms are virtually recreated and the impact that changing a parameter can have on other parameters can be seen in practice.

 

Research shows simulated learning to be the most effective method for management training and MBE Simulations have developed a relevant and engaging minute-by-minute interactive learning tool: MERP is a powerful and dynamic training software compiling knowledge used by thousands of students, world-wide, in particular addressing operations management needs.

 

MBE Simulations products enable students to practice in a situation that recreates real business environments without suffering real business consequences. Other business games run on a single one-time run, so not truly simulating real life. With MBE Simulations products users try again and again and just as in real-life we learn through our mistakes, here users can safely reinforce their learning throughout the process.

 

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3.     How are MBE Simulations products used in universities?

 

Courses in Operations Management cover diverse activities both in manufacturing and service settings and include topics of process analysis, workforce issues, materials management, production planning, quality and productivity, technology, and strategic planning, together with relevant analytical techniques.

The MERP dynamic case studies (simulation software) are structured around the major topics in the course, with the simulation serving as an integrating theme. The business cases illustrate the difficulties and complexities of managing a small fictitious company, covering the full supply chain and presenting problems through the marketing, production, purchasing, finance, and management views of the company.

Teams of students have to manage a year in the life of this fictitious company and make a variety of decisions based on themes in the course curriculum. The success of their management activities are measured both by their numerical results (profit, cash on hand, and reputation level) and by the actions they have taken. The profit earned (the more, the better) is the primary measure of success, while the others serve as qualifiers (at the end of the simulation, they have to have positive cash on hand and minimum 70% reputation). The "quality" of the students’ decision-making is also evaluated to avoid successes based on "enronization" practices.

 

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4.     What added-value do MBE Simulations offer university professors?

 

·         Faculty can access student's work, review and analyze decisions that were taken during a simulation and grade the overall results.

·         Beyond convenient receipt of students' work, MERP provides recommendations to aid instructors in determining students final grades
The simulator automated grades have become so trusted that some universities are allowing 35% of final Operations Management results to be based on automated simulator grading.

·         Recommendations reflect a composite evaluation of the student's success in managing the company as well as the validity of their decision making process. The simulator is designed to provide an objective measure of students' ability to assimilate learnt material into real-life practice.

·         Flexible learning through two options: Online practiced distance learning as well as a class-based format

·         Not only is there an increasing developing complexity through a variety of scenarios but also scenarios are constantly changed so students can't reapply the same approach. Each simulator run is unique and good results can only be achieved through implementing simulator theory, not replicating other students' work

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5.     How does simulator practice equip students for real-world managerial positions?

 

·         As a flexible learning tool the simulator provides students with unlimited practice in university or from home. This provides the student with a real opportunity to understand how to learn from their mistakes.

·         The simulator provides a bigger picture because it allows the students to be in multiple places, in their virtual company, at the same time.

·         As a dynamic simulation students must face, accept and accommodate the fluctuation and uncertainty of business life and learn to be accountable for decisions made in the face of that uncertainty.

·         The simulator provides a relevant training platform for students who can practice modern IT business enablers such as ERP systems and performance management via a dynamic KPI cockpit.

·         The simulator is based on real-time competition by displaying other student's scenario decisions and results. This encourages students to drive their success forward in the face of opposition, true to the real market-place.

 

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6.     What are the differences between the previous version (MICSS™ – The OT™) and the new version of MERP™?

 

Basically, the previous MERP™ was a stand-alone, PC-based version: students operated the simulator with no track record or debriefing capabilities of their previous runs for self-learning.
Student’s assignments real data could not be uploaded for grading purposes by the professor.
The teacher (or professor) would have no idea about the work done, time invested or whether the student’s run is an original one, or not.

The following characteristics are a short list of the new topics that are included in the new MERP™ version. To understand all the benefits of the new version, please see the attached brochure.


Additional features for accelerating student’s learning experience:


  • Managing a virtual world, using modern relevant business tools – by providing a new dashboard of dynamic KPI cockpit, the "Serious Game" enables students to explore and experience utilization of modern IT and BI performance management tools. These KPIs are divided into several organizational topics, allowing a result-oriented management experience.
  • Learning from their own mistakes – provided by allowing students to save, retrieve previous run’s details and learn out of past runs
  • The students compete on their achieved results – within a closed group of their course classmates.
  • Learning comfort environment – by providing a solution which allows students to work anywhere in their free time if they have a computer connected to the Internet.
  • Comprehensive supporting materials – by enabling the students to access various supporting means: videos, tutorials, web-help and even a visual-audio on-line tour of the organization as well as of each department.

Academic and faculty benefits:


  • Larger choice of new scenarios – MERP™ consists of a completely new suite of differing scenarios, covering practices of varying levels of complexity and scope. The new scenarios, isolating individual departments (such as Production, Purchasing and more), allowing the student to learn the impact of effective departmental management on the organization as a whole.
  • More control over student participation and results – by providing faculty with statistics about the time invested in the assignment as well as the ability to control the deadline which can be changed by the professor.
  • The professor can access the student’s assignments – by retrieving uploaded run’s details from the server.
  • Automated grading support – by providing the ability to upload, directly from within the simulator, student’s best run’s to the server, faculty can generate grade’s file automatically.
  • Stimulating students to actively participate and practice – by setting a closed group account for each course, provides students and faculty with immediate feedback on results achieved. In addition, a personal real-time track record of student's relative position pops up in the “virtual environment” each time the student activates the “Serious Game.”
  • Assuring that each work is original – past student assignments will not bring a profit - each student's work is original and cannot be copied. Every run is unique, and good results can only be achieved through solid managerial decisions, and not by replicating other students' work

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