Learning Strategic Sourcing Management through Serious simulation Game

Why bother with uninteresting hours of classroom session, when you can play a game and learn more?

high-bay-408222_960_720Despite the importance of its functionality, research shows that many of the world procurement and purchasing specialist around the world are still having trouble in developing and implementing an effective strategy towards sourcing, according to KMPG International report (2012). Some still perceive the approach in sourcing is to find the lowest cost and ignores the true potential of sourcing.

In the globalization era, the challenge in sourcing has been more complex than before and will continue to rise. Sourcing researcher, Kate Vitasek and alongside many others state that you should view sourcing as a business model with the goal to maximize value. Sourcing is not just merely obtaining products or services at the lowest price, but to obtain them at the right price. By choosing the right business model for your sourcing situation, you can  harness the true potential value sourcing.

Unfortunately, the concept of sourcing model is not yet widely recognized. Although many firms may have or are implementing some of them, the basic knowledge of the sourcing business model development process is still a problem to many sourcing professionals. In order to help the professionals to gain a better understanding of sourcing business model development process, a serious simulation game is presented as a solution.

Serious simulation game has been used in many pedagogical purposes throughout different fields such as supply chain management, business simulation, medical and military. The gaming environment creates an immersive learning medium and therefore is able to improve the learning process of its participants.

By developing a serious simulation game in form of a board game, participants are able to learn the key concepts of sourcing business models and the different impact of each models. Before the game participants can have the chance to develop and choose the best sourcing business model for the situation. The benefit of playing a game is that  participants can know whether they have chosen the right sourcing model.

The game presented in this research proves another example of a pedagogical use of a serious simulation game. Serious simulation game is seen as a suitable learning medium especially for the millennials. The immersive value offered by gaming help learner to stay focus. When learner are involved in the system, there is a better chance that they can understand and remember better. This is also an example of an experiential learning method, where learner can improve their mental models to make better decisions by learning through simulation.

Rizman, Arry, AkhmadThe serious simulation game presented, is developed through the game development guideline set by Richard D. Duke and his colleagues. Keeping in mind that the game must balance the realm of meaning, reality and play as suggested by Casper Hartevald in his “Triadic Game Design” book. The design process also look upon the examples of existing serious simulation game. A group of students from Universitas Indonesia were called as participant respondents of the game. Through the testing of the game, we learn how the game has helped the participants gaining better understanding of the subject.

In conclusion, we have seen how a serious simulation game can help learner to understand complex system which requires an effective learning medium. The game can be used as a learning medium alternatives for professionals and students. By improving their understanding of the system, hopefully they can put the knowledge into practice and solve issues surrounding sourcing strategy.

This research is conducted by M. Rizky Nur Iman, Arry Rahmawan and Akhmad Hidayatno

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