What is BizMAP
Business books and theory can’t teach you about business as much as practical, hands-on experience can. If real-world experience is difficult to come by, choose the middle ground – Management Simulation Games.
BizMAP is a Management Simulation Game created by Sameer Kamat (Founder of MBA Crystal Ball) to test and develop your Business Management Aptitude & Potential (that explains the acronym!). With zero investment (apart from your time), it puts you in charge of a growing business and tests your aptitude for managing a startup.
There’s no need to download software or customise open-source code. Just launch it and play. International management students are using it in the MBA classroom too.
BizCool, a fictitious technology startup that provides customized, high-end servers has just received the first round of venture capital funding. The VC investors saw potential in the business, but felt that the founder (a techie at heart, not a businessman) who has done a pretty good job with the basic product, wouldn’t be able to scale it up.
That’s why, on a strong referral, they got you onboard to take on the reins of the business.
BizMAP Business Strategy Game Rules
– You are taking over an existing business. That means you already have a team (4 employees), some sales and some cash (a million dollars) in hand.
– When you start the game, analyze the operational and financial numbers before you take any decisions. This is depicted by Steps 1 & 2 in the image above.
– You will need to take 5 decisions each quarter (as shown in Step 3 above). Not doing anything (i.e. entering zero in the input field) in a specific area is also a decision.
– Decision 1: How many units to produce: Choose a range from 0 (nothing to produce) to the maximum production capacity for the company (defined by the number of employees).
– Decision 2: How to price it: You can deviate 20% from the estimated industry price. Raising the price has an adverse impact on the market demand. And vice versa.
– Decision 3: How much to spend on marketing: Without marketing you still have a mimimum demand. However, to scale up, you’ll need to spend on advertising.
– Decision 4: How many employees to hire/fire: Each new employee increases the quarterly production capacity by 20 units. But the salary costs go up as well.
– Decision 5: How much to invest in product development: Investing in R&D can yield a surprise over time, but only if the cumulative amount exceeds a certain threshold.
– Submitting your decision takes the story forward by 1 quarter.
– The game ends when you complete your contract (12 quarters) or the business becomes bankrupt (cash position goes to zero or negative), whichever is earlier. So keep an eye on the ‘Cash’ position & work towards increasing it.
A little about how the Supply Chain works
– What you produce will not reach the market immediately. While the product moves through the supply chain, there are time delays as follows.
– Once you place an order for the units, the underlying components have to be procured from the market (In-Transit phase). It takes 1 quarter for your vendors to deliver.
– After the material reaches your company, your team assembles the end product (work in progress or WIP phase). You lose another quarter for this step.
– Then the end product is moved to the warehouses / retailers (where it becomes Inventory). Another quarter needed for this.
– From the warehouse, the products can be shipped to customers immediately. There’s no time delay here.
– If you have enough quantity in your inventory, the relevant number of units are shipped out to the customers. If not, the backlog of orders keeps piling up and needs to be satiated in the subsequent quarters.
– Similarly, decisions related to Hiring, Marketing, R&D investments reflect in the next Quarter.
How to get better at the Business Strategy Game
In any Business Strategy Game, including BizMAP, you will not get it ‘right’ in the first attempt. Play the game multiple times and try to refine your strategies and entrepreneurial skills with each attempt.
Learn a little more about the theoretical concepts behind the game in our Free MBA course.
Don’t shy away from trying various business strategies (conservative & aggressive scenarios). See how each business strategy impacts the end result.
If any of this isn’t entirely clear, don’t worry. Start the game and you’ll soon get the hang of what’s happening.
For academic or professional use: If you are a professor, trainer or university / company representative interested in using this game for your class, we can create an account with a customised user-interface specially for your brand for a nominal charge. Send us an email: info [at] mbacrystalball [dot] com
You may also be interested in trying our Supply Chain Management Game.