An exploration of the tactical management of a manufacturing company and how actions impact financial results and business efficiency.
MANAGEMENT EXPERIENCE involves making the best use of manufacturing resources, measuring economic performance, forecasting and control. The simulation is supported by a comprehensive set of background notes and a Tutor Support System. The market situation - highly seasonal domestic, rapidly growing export and contracts - makes the participants task more difficult. As do the (optional) differing inflation scenarios.
THE PRODUCT is a small hermetically sealed electric motor with computer controls used to drive agricultural equipment. With domestic, export and contract sales to the equipment manufacturers and to replace damaged/failed motors.
- product price and promotion
- contract bids
- factory scheduling and capacity purchasing
- distribution & inventory management
- product improvement
- term finance
- market research
DURATION: Two days
TARGET AUDIENCE:The simulation is for middle and senior managers and high-flying junior managers.
AVAILABILITY: Because of its scope, Management Experience is only available on a fully tutored basis or after training on a self tutored basis.
PROCESS: Participants are are divided into teams of four or five that takeover an established business and compete directly with up to seven other teams..
WAYS OF USING: Management Expreince can be used in these ways
The simulation covers:
BUSINESS OBJECTIVES & MEASURES
The simulation focuses on the tactical management of a manufacturing business with decisions covering product pricing and promotion, deciding capacity, factory staffing and overtime and long term loans. Teams are free to decide objectives and measures and, so, can decide whether to maximise profitability or growth or minimise risk. Then they must decide strategy in terms of market sector focus, factory loading and capacity and cash flow. Besides corporate measures (such as Return on Assets), the simulation measures capacity utilisation, output per worker, etc. and produces a full factory cost variance report (see below).
Initially, participants take over a company that is inadequately profitable with relatively high fixed costs, operating close to full capacity. They must determine where they can improve and maintain efficient operation and effectively grow profits. While doing this they must maintain cash flow and liquidity. Although their purpose is to turn the company around participants will find this difficult.
The simulation involves selling a product into a domestic and export markets and bidding, against the other teams for contract business. Sales in the domestic and export markets are influenced by price and promotion. Contracts are awarded based on price alone. Each market differs in terms of potential, growth and current penetration.
The costs of serving each market differ and, an optional report, is available treating each market on a profit or investment centred basis. When setting product mix policy, teams must consider profit levels, cash flow and risk.
A set of optional worksheets allow teams to build a full set of financial accounts and analyse product costs. When making decisions teams must take into break-even, prices and promotional sensitivities and the economics of increasing capacity, capacity utilisation and overtime working. With an erratic, seasonal sales, inflation and factory productivity effects, economic analysis is realistically difficult.
The simulation has a full variance analysis pack that identifies the effect of inflation, productivity, asset age, material premiums etc.. So, it allows a detailed separation of the effect of controllable and uncontrollable factors on costs.
Market growth and seasonality, the uncertainty associated with contracts makes operational control especially difficult. Coupled with maximising capacity use, minimising overtime and high bank interest means that lack of control and poor forecasting reflects in adverse cost variances and low profitability.
With participants working in small teams, they have the opportunity to share experience and knowledge and present and promote different viewpoints. This is especially important where the participants are from several functions.
Optionally, at the end of the simulation, teams can be asked for make a formal board presentation covering objectives, strategies, process, the outcome and learning.
As Management Experience is usually only available on fully tutored basis, the software is not downloadable however you can download the participants documentation, decision forms and briefing slides. And, we are happy to email the comprehensive tutor's manual.
Most recent update: 03/12/11
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