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Business and Management., *pedagogy
Bridging the gap between theory and practice has always been a key issue for students and graduates. The magnitude and scope of subject areas that students at third level institutions have to learn in theory means that visualising them without any practical experience can be very difficult. Understanding the complexity of supply chain networks and how to manage them create a considerable level of difficulty for students and professionals. Theories and applications included in supply chain management subjects are the key to empathise the real challenges. Nevertheless, teaching these theories needs substantial efforts and new innovative approaches to deliver the concepts and assure successful transfer of the learning outcomes.
To complicate things more, the levels of uncertainty and risk within an entire supply chain are still not fully recognised or understood even by industry professionals. Research studies showed the need for more transparency and collaborative approaches to take place among supply chain partners in order to achieve more sustainable operations. Making sure students comprehend the scale of activities and stochastic nature of a supply chain before they carry on their industrial careers is therefore crucial.
Using computer simulation integrated with structured modelling techniques, a detailed, animated and generic supply chain simulation-based learning framework can be developed to incorporate many areas of learning undertaken by students in relation to the supply chain management. Experimenting on the simulation models allow the students to examine quantitatively the impact of changing critical factors (e.g. inventory level, demand, suppliers’ lead time) on the performance of supply chain. This paper demonstrates the impact of using interactive simulation technologies in teaching third level education with special reference to supply chain management and discusses the benefits of learning through such a level of immersion.
Arisha, A., Tobail, A., Crowe, J.:Supply Chain Simulation: Experimentation without Pain. 13th. Irish Academy of Management Conference, cork Institute of Technology, Cork, 1-3 September, 2010.