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Capsim Simulation: Basic Teaching Methodology

Updated on March 27, 2013

Capsim Simulation Basic Teaching

We shall review the basic teaching methodology for the Capsim simulation. For the fall semester 2012 at Georgian Court University in Lakewood, NJ we have six teams/companies within the sensor industry. The following companies: Andrews, Baldwin, Chester and Digby comprise four students each. The other companies Erie and Ferris are computer simulations. Andrews, Baldwin, Chester and Digby play the simulation against each other and the two computer teams Erie and Ferris. The teams play seven rounds in the simulation. The simulation modules are: Research and Development; Marketing, Production and Finance. The Human Resources Module is added in the second round and Total Quality Management (TQM) is added in the fourth round. We meet for class every Saturday for nine weeks.

The first week of class the students register for the course at The Capstone team member guide 2013 is distributed to the students. We go online and review the six minute getting started video which explains the sensor industry and the simulation modules. For homework the students can read through the 24 page team member guide. I ask the students to study the six basic strategies in section 12 of the guide. This is a graduate level class and all the students are employed in industry. As the instructor, I form teams with students that are in accounting, finance, production and marketing. The marketing student usually has experience making presentations in power-point. The students are shown examples of power- point presentations. On the final day of class each team makes a thirty minute power-point presentation. The presentation includes a company’s mission statement, goals, strategy, strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats and round by round analysis. I notify the students by email what teams they are assigned to.

At home each student can go online and log into their team. They should download the industry conditions report and the Capstone Courier. Individual students complete the following tutorials: rehearsal tutorial, situation analysis and the introductory lesson quiz.

The second week of class I meet with each company separately. We do a practice round. The companies: Andrews, Baldwin, Chester and Digby give individual members responsibility for the modules. The four students on each team split the workload into research and development, marketing, production and finance. The finance manager adds the human resource module in the second round. The research and development manager adds total quality management in the fourth round. The marketing and production managers work together and prepare the power point presentation after each round. The companies drafts decisions online during class. During the practice round the teams become familiar with the Capsim software and how to input decisions. Final decisions are made by the companies during the week. One team member, usually the finance manager finalizes decisions for the practice round.

The third week of class we analyze the practice round. The teams review the industry conditions report and the Capstone Courier. The Capstone Courier includes round by round team comparisons of selected financial statistics, stock and bond summaries, financial statements production analysis and segment analysis for the traditional product, low end product, high end product, performance product and size product.

I give the students a prior course example of a completed third round Capstone Courier analysis of the traditional product segment. I ask the teams how did Andrew’s Company product Able, in the traditional segment, gain 32% market share although Able had a relatively high list price of $28.50. The answer is Able had the best mix of customer buying criteria that includes the performance coordinate, size coordinate, list price and mean time before failure. Also the promotion budget of $1,450 and sales budget of $2,200 for Able increased customer awareness to 99% and customer accessibility to 73%. Product Able also had the highest customer survey rating of 45.

The third week class begins the competitive rounds of the simulation. We complete seven rounds of competition over the next five weeks. In the Capstone Courier, after each round, we review and analyze company decisions for Andrews, Baldwin, Chester, Digby, Erie and Ferris. Companies make adjustments to their strategies as industry conditions change and competition for market share in the individual segments of the sensor industry heat up.

The eighth Saturday of class teams examine the final outcome for their companies and fine tune their presentations.The ninth and final Saturday each company Andrews, Baldwin, Chester and Digby present their thirty minute power-points to the class.

Bueno Suerte, James Cage


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