Virtual team wins international competition

A team of Missouri S&T graduate students – separated geographically
but united via the Internet – matched wits and skills with seven larger
teams from the United States and Canada to win the 2nd International
HEC Montreal ERP Simulation Game in June.

All eight teams had one hour to set up a virtual manufacturing company using SAP, the leading enterprise resource planning (ERP) software used by companies worldwide. Within the hour, the teams completed initial product design and development, costing, pricing, procurement and production plans, demand forecast, distribution channel selection, and marketing strategies.

For the next five hours, the students evaluated market fluctuations, reacted to breaking news, analyzed consumer behavior and responded to competitors’ reactions as they managed various processes from purchasing raw materials to choosing the distribution channel.

Missouri S&T was the smallest team – and the only virtual one. “We were all physically in different states and countries,” says faculty advisor Bih-Ru Lea. “I was in Taiwan, our team captain was in Huntsville, Ala., and the other members were in Rolla, Mo.” The team overcame communication and resource hurdles using audio conferencing and text-to-speech features of Ventrilo voice communication software.

Missouri S&T’s team was sponsored by St. Louis-based Monsanto Co. and included Evangeline Bays, a graduate student in business administration and team captain, Mayur Raicar, a graduate student in information science and technology, Abishek Suvarna, a graduate student in information science and technology, and Lin Zhu, a graduate student in information science and technology.

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