Simulating the Global Market

To simulate a competitive global market and supply chain, the University of Maryland's Robert H. Smith School of Business and Delft University of Technology laid out a network of virtual customers and suppliers around the globe. Each had parameters programmed into the Distributor Game simulation to provide what co-developer Dr. Alexander Verbraeck called "local circumstances."

With a complex set of algorithms driving the actions of suppliers and customers (and a few surprises thrown in for the competitors), all that remained was to build a market of competing distributor networks. For this university teams around the world assumed the role of a distributor company. To give a true global flavor, the teams' virtual location didn't always correspond to its actual location.

But when the game started, it was operating live in geographies across the United States, Europe and Asia. Weeks of events were compressed into 90 minutes as the teams worked feverishly to employ their market and sourcing strategies, adjust to events and meet pricing and other competitive challenges.

The 12 teams that took place in the first Global Supply Chain Competition included:

  • Arizona State University (as San Francisco)
  • CERAM Sophia Antipolis of France (as Lyon, France)
  • Management Development Institute of India (as Madras, India)
  • Michigan State University (as Warsaw, Poland)
  • Nankai University of China (as Hong Kong)
  • Pennsylvania State University (as Davao, Philippines)
  • Soochow University of Taiwan (as Seoul, South Korea)
  • The Ohio State University (as Omaha, Nebraska)
  • Turku School of Economics of Finland (as Copenhagen, Denmark)
  • University of Groningen the Netherlands (as Enschede, the Netherlands)
  • University of Maryland (as Boston)
  • University of Tennessee (as Houston)
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