Teams across QAD participated in a hackathon (here’s an overview from a previous hackathon). There were over 300 participants on 48 teams, which produced 36 projects. One team was from the QAD Demand & Supply Chain Planning (DSCP) group. Their goal was to create an interactive simulation to see who is better at production planning to maximize margin: a computer or a human. I think we all inherently know the answer (the computer should win), but still often different areas of planning: demand, production, distribution or procurement, can still rely on intuition and “gut” feelings.
With this in mind, the DSCP team created their “My Manufacturing Company” game for iPad. The game was initially well received, so well in fact that the feedback came in from all-around QAD. Through feedback from the larger group, the DSCP team refined their initial proof of concept iPad game, and created a desktop version — which more closely reflects where production planning takes place — at a desk.
Like most games, level 1 is less complex and allows a human to keep up. As more variables are factored in, the benefits of the computer become very apparent. As humans our ability to take in many variables and predict results is more limited. Not to mention that the game (and the DSCP solution) is much faster at processing this information and performing actions than humans.
What’s Next for the DSCP Game?
In future versions of this game, and just like our customers who implement Demand and Supply Chain Planning, other areas could be part of simulations. For example, the game could incorporate functionality for you to plan demand based on the many inputs of the demand planning process (sales history, marketing promotions, sales reps, etc).
In many ways, the game could evolve just like QAD customers who start DSCP projects. Oftentimes customers start with one of the module of QAD DSCP — pictured below — to accelerate the time to benefit. Then as they start to receive tangible benefits, they move to the next area to continue to optimize their planning processes.
Are you Ready to Play “My Manufacturing Company?”
Do you think you have what it takes to beat the computer? Find out if you are better at production planning than the QAD Demand and Supply Chain Planning engine, with the My Manufacturing Company Game. Be sure to let us know what you think of the game!