Creating value, the key in global marketing and supply chain management


“The creating value module, has been the best module so far. It was practical and very hands-on," says Executive MBA student Davide Tuzi. The module is composed of the courses Marketing in a Global Context and Global Supply Chain Management, which were being taught in an interactive way with theory, real life cases and simulation game play.

The October module from the Executive MBA also marked a new intake with 13 students from 8 different nationalities embarking on their Executive MBA journey. 

The module started with the marketing course being taught by Oliver Olson, Senior Lecture of Marketing and Strategy. During the 4 days of class the students were introduced to conceptual tools and practical realities of marketing within globalizing business environments.

"The key take-away from the course was that marketing is more than just advertisement, it’s about creating value," Davide says. "The course gave us the key to understand business strategies and how to implement them," he continues. Through using real life cases and examples from various countries, the Executive MBA students gained insights on effective marketing practices and were challenged to apply ethical principles in a ‘real-world’ context. Throughout the four days, the course zoomed in on international marketing strategies practiced by multinational companies in manufacturing and service industries.

Every morning the students had to individually write a minute paper about a case study they had to read before class. This approach gave the students tools to critically assess the case and include their newly gained knowledge in the paper. Once the paper was submitted there was room for discussion to share thoughts and learn from each other’s views.

In the afternoon on day 3, a simulation game was played under the lead of Prof. Frans Cornelis, Professor of Practice in Marketing and Communications. In the game, the students were divided in teams and had to improve earnings growth of a fictional product by creating value. The simulation was rated well by the students as they saw it as a great way to have fun and learn from the process at the same time.

Global Supply Chain Management, the what and the how
In the second half of the course week, the students were submerged in the world of supply chain management (SCM) by SCM expert Ed Weenk. Here simulation game play was a big part of the course. Every student had their own department and responsibilities and had to increase the return of investment of their company. In six rounds divided over three days, the students had to purchase raw materials, contract the right suppliers, set up stable production processes and make sure the supply chain was working accordingly to deliver the promised products to their customers. It may sound quite simple, but the students agreed that it is a lot more complex than it seems. "It is simple, but not easy," was one of the sentences Ed repeated many times. The complexity was in aligning all departments and processes, which meant working closely together with your team was key. Besides the game play, Ed explained the theory behind Supply Chain Management, the what and the how, which the students could directly implement in the game.

“Global supply chain management enlightened on the importance of a good supply chain management by bringing real business cases.” Davide Tuzi says.

Real world experiences were also shared during a workshop with guest speaker Jochum Reuter, Vice President European Operations at FourKites, the largest provider of real-time visibility and predictive ETA in the supply chain. Jochum provided the students with information about the company and industry, through which the students had to come up with ideas to improve services. An interesting discussion followed where ideas were exchanged and reviewed.

During the final day, the last rounds of the simulation game were played, with of course crowning the best performing team as the winning team. For Davide, the simulation game was the cherry on the cake, as it stimulated the learning process and left a deep mark of teaching on every student.

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