Essay Example on Computer based simulations for business Knowledge

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Introduction Computer based simulations are an innovative and interactive way of applying and exercising business knowledge The Country Manager simulation specifically addresses international business and marketing issues and aims at creating an engaging and realistic experience where the participants have to make decisions on each aspect of the international expansion The simulation is played from the viewpoint of the management team of Allstar Brands an U S consumer goods manufacturer that is determined to expand into the Latin American market Throughout the time span of nine simulated years the short term and the long term impact of the group decisions is illustrated by the change in the Brand Equity Index BEI which serves as an indicator of the overall performance

The simulation was performed in a group of five students during four group sessions By assuming the role of the regional managers the students were responsible for introducing the Allsmile toothpaste in Latin America Therefore the students had to address various issues such as selecting the most attractive markets the entry modes and the target segments formulating the product and pricing strategies and finally managing the advertising promotion and the distribution Throughout the simulation the team focused its efforts on outperforming its competitors increasing the brand awareness and the sales and therefore aimed for a high BEI Working in a highly international team often generated discussions about the differences in consumption habits in various countries

Nonetheless during the decision making process the whole team was involved and all the suggestions were considered and discussed which allowed a smooth and productive working process The following report involves an overall analysis of the steps undertaken during the simulation along with the interpretation of the results and a pragmatic enunciation of the takeaways The performance evaluation will start with an overview of the strategy and how it evolved during nine periods The second chapter will include a brief description of the periods along with the corresponding decisions The next chapter deals with the overview of the results which will be further analysed and compared to real life Finally the report will be concluded with the essential lessons drawn from the simulation and the final conclusion 5 Results analysis The following chapter deals with the evaluation of the final results of the simulation The first section provides an overview and analysis of the final outcomes followed by two sections which evaluate various concepts assumed in the simulation in comparison with real life 5 1 Results overview

At the end of the year nine Allsmile brand managed to reach an overall BEI of 72 The BEI is measuring the overall performance by considering numerous aspects namely benefit positioning creative execution price positioning sales leadership and share of mind by country plus the product standardization and regional diversification as a total score for all the countries taken together The final BEI scores are illustrated in Figure x Figure x Final BEI Own property CountryManager simulation 2017 6 Key Learnings Adaptation vs standardization Price positioning 6 Conclusion Experiential learning is a powerful educational technique which emphasises experience as the main source of learning Kolb 2014 The Country Manager simulation represents an experiential type of learning which created a real life scenario Allstar a consumer goods manufacturer decides to expand its operations to Latin America The team of five people who had the role of regional managers had to make complex decisions while considering all the various aspect of a company entering a new market

A valuable aspect of the simulation is the fact that the team was exposed to a highly dynamic business environment which is problematic to replicate in a lecture hall Thus this is the main contribution of the simulation it helps to bridge the gap between university and real life First an extensive analysis of all the possible markets along with their economic demographic and social aspects took place which lead to the formulation of the initial strategy Further the most attractive countries for expansion were selected and a detailed STP analysis was performed for each population Once the country and the segments were selected the participants had to make a range of decisions considering the local competition and consumption trends and the proposed business strategy Throughout the simulation the complexity of the decision making process increased thus giving the participants the possibility to test and improve their business strategy competences It has been especially exciting to follow how the decisions made throughout the simulation influence the BEI and the overall development of Allsmile brand in Latin America At the end of the simulation a final BEI score of 72 was achieved Although a higher final score was expected the results motivated the participants to evaluate their decisions and find all the possible sources of error and consequently draw relevant lessons for future Finally it can be concluded that the Country Manager simulation has been a very engaging and dynamic way of applying previously learned marketing and business concepts into practice Despite the fact that the simulation was fairly time intensive and required a complex cross sectional analysis it is particularly valuable since it s one of the few university courses which involved experiential type of learning Kolb D A 2014 Experiential learning Experience as the source of learning and development FT press

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