September 1, 2008

Business Simulation Game!


Last Saturday, our respective groups in Marketing and Finance Creating Synergy (MFCS) under Prof. Richard Cruz spent the whole day competing against each other in a business simulation game.

The game we played was Pharmasim, a brand management simulation game where groups took over a fictitious cold medicine and manage it in terms of the product's marketing and making sure it performed well despite the market forces and competition. Unlike the business war game we played in Development of the Enterprise (DE), we did not directly compete against teams in the game, but competed on how we performed relative to how each group fared in their respective games.

There were eight groups in all our group (me, Faye Abis, Maya Perez, Starrie Sun, and Jennifer Valenzuela) was erroneously named as "Regnard" because we failed to get an instruction in the game's registration. Prof. Cruz set specific goals for our class competition and group scores were based on 60% financial outcomes and 40% marketing outcomes. That actually was not good for us because our group's strength was on the marketing side of things.

The game was very in depth. Pharmasim simulated one year period in one round and the complexity of the game increased as rounds went on. We started making decisions on broad areas of the marketing mix, then went to go on deciding as detailed as the specific channels of distribution, up to the advertising messages in promoting the product. To add to the complexity, we were offered to introduce new products and product extensions and we had to make sure the new item will not cannibalize our existing customer base. Prof. Cruz gave bonuses to teams that were able to make accurate forecasts on the brand's performance.

The data we had to process also increased in every round. We initially had historical data pertaining to marketing and financial information, but we also had access to market research data where we could draw insights from customer preferences, buying habits and brand awareness. We literally drowned by pages and pages of data because we wanted to process the most amount of data in order to come up with a sound decision.

We started pretty solid where we ranked second in the first turn, but we made some mistakes that cost us a lot and at some point during the game, we slipped to sixth place. But thankfully, we were able to bounce back and regain some momentum.

After seven rounds, we emerged third place. :) Team Pintoos ranked first and followed by Team Bronchitis (Yeah, we got weird team names :P). I really found the results surprising because there were more teams with more financial acumen, but I guess our group's acuity on what we want to achieve helped us earn a decent finish.

My group was a joy to work with so I'm taking this chance to give props to the team. We did great team! :D

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