Supply Chain Logistics Board Game – Educating the next generation of professionals

Business on the moveJust over 12 months ago, London, England witnessed the launch of an innovative supply chain logistics board game entitled “Business on the Move.” Since its initial debut, the game has sold more than 80% of its initial batch of 2,800 to schools and colleges all over the UK, and the games founders, Patricia Smedley and Andy Page, are now urging more businesses to each buy 5 games and distribute then freely to local schools in their areas.

Designed to interest and inspire young people in the science of Supply Chain Logistics

The game has been designed to teach young people all about the importance of global supply chain logistics in the modern world today. It is designed to involve, excite, interest and inspire young people aged between 9 and 19, in the science of supply chain management.

This first edition of “Business on the Move” is British based and has been created to teach young people how to move various products from China to customers in the UK. The supply chain logistics involved hover around land transport, sea and air freight. The goal is to move the products as quickly and as profitably as players can, observing industry best practice while being conscious of preserving the environment.

The challenges the game brings to light

As the youngsters work their way through the supply chain logistics world, they are faced with making important decisions and solving problems such as how they can best move the products to comply with delivery deadlines; how to return a profit; how to improve their supply chains, and how they can best effectively cut their carbon footprints.

The game costs £267 to buy and as mentioned previously, business are now being encouraged to buy 5 and distribute them to local schools. For this price the supply chain logistics game includes labels identifying the company as the sponsor. However, for a further £150, “Business on the Move” can be personalized to have the business’s name printed onto the actual board and order cards so that the business becomes an intrinsic part of the game.

The idea is that for a roundabout £250 (or £400) a company can inspire youngsters with regard to global supply chain logistics and plant seeds that could flower into the promise of a successful career in global supply chain management.

A powerful new supply chain logistics learning platform

Being backed by 50 original sponsors including logistics companies, major retailers and financial services, most of the original batch of 2,800 games has now been distributed and are being used to educate young people in the science of supply chain logistics.

This new supply chain logistics game represents a powerful learning platform which includes over 50 classroom activities such as English, Mathematics and Geography. It brings these academic classroom studies to life in a real world environment where they have a significant impact on the mechanics of the game.

The founders of the game originally targeted it to be used by UK teachers teaching various age groups from junior to senior schools. They have been delighted to find that there has now been some keen interest shown by international businesses and academic communities across the world, with some 40 games going overseas; many to universities on various continents.

The reason for this global interest may be explained by the way that the supply chain logistics game involves many of the higher level aspects of supply chain logistics management such as cash flow, privatization, and reverse logistics. It appears that many businesses are beginning to incorporate the game within their internal training programs for new recruits including apprentices and graduates.

“Business on the Move” to go global?

The cofounders have already begun thinking about the next stage in the development of this supply chain logistics game, which according to Andy Page could become a global game. It appears that several enquiries have emanated from businesses that operate globally and indeed the cofounders are in the process of setting up meetings with these potential sponsors. The way things are developing at the moment there is talk about ordering a further 6000 games.

In the United Kingdom “Business on the Move” has already been given an award by the Royal Bank of Scotland’s Inspiring Enterprise Initiative and also from the UnLtd charity which sponsors social entrepreneurs.

Helping young people to come to grips with Supply Chain Logistics challenges

The Chief Executive Officer of the Chartered Institute of Logistics and transport, Steve Agg, is reported as saying that “Business on the Move” is not only fun but it creates challenges. Players can learn from their successes and their failures. The Institute acknowledged from the very beginning that the game would help young people to come to grips with the role that global supply chain logistics plays in our modern-day world. It does after all employ more than 10% of the working population in the UK alone. It will help to familiarize young people with supply chain management and particularly logistics, and will influence their career options when it comes to employment.

Increasing global awareness of environmental challenges

The Supply Chain strategy manager of hearts and Spencer’s (the iconic UK retailer), Steve Foster, says that the game is a unique and fun way of engaging with local educational communities and bringing supply chain logistics into the classroom in a way that compliments and involves many other classroom activities to. It is said to be an excellent way of developing commercial and problem solving abilities while at the same time increasing people’s awareness of the  impact that moving goods around the globe has of the worlds environment.

For more information about the game why not visit the game’s website by clicking here on www.businessonthemove.org.

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