Logistics Game On!

Logistics Game On” is a congress about serious games used in the logistics and transport sector. TKI Dinalog, Logistics Community Brabant and Delft University of Technology have organised the second edition of this event on Wednesday the 22nd of May 2019.

The Transport and Logistics sector is composed of multiple stakeholders. If one of them fails it can imply big consequences. That’s why they continuously have to innovate in order to improve their efficiency. Heide Lukosch, a professor in Delft University of Technology, reminds us that games are a method to innovate and most likely the most enjoyable. In her presentation which has opened the congress, she brings to light the different advantages related to games usage. Thus, the game enables:

  • Experiential learning
  • An immediate feedback
  • Cooperation with people having different competencies
  • Working on a simplified reality with the possibility to apply what we have learned to the reality
  • Understanding the current situation and foresee the future thanks to a better awareness of what is at stake
  • Measuring the consequences of our decisions
  • A better adaptability to the needs or the situation
  • Stimulating the communication

After this short introduction, game on! During this edition 9 games were presented. You will find below a description of each of them and my opinion about the 2 games that I could test.

Innoveren kun je leren (Innovate can be learned)

This role playing game allows players to live a situation in which their logistics or transport firm must innovate to stay competitive. They have to deal with different issues and must cooperate to develop innovative solutions.

This game is part of the “Sociale Innovatie” project managed by TNO.

Mini Blokko

This game aims to discover the Sales and Operations planning (S&OP). Each team tries to meet the demand of the clients. They have to organize themselves in order to take the right decisions and to face the hazards of the game. It’s a hybrid game composed of a board and a digital interface.

To see what the game looks like, a video which presents Mini Blokko is available on Youtube.

Master Shipper

Master Shipper is a digital game which involves planning containers transportation. The player performance is measured on the transportation costs, the CO2 emissions, the percentage of in-time deliveries and the time needed to arrange transportation. This game enables the player to have a feedback about his choices and to test different scenarios.

Some extra information are available on the website of Delft University of Technology and on the website of TKI Dinalog.

Spare Parts Inventory Planning

A machine or the entire production chain stopped because of a failure and the absence of a spare part can cost a lot. In order to optimize the stock management, to meet the demand and to reduce the time of breakdown, an Excel tool InFus@2.0 has been designed. A micro-game is also available to make the player aware of stock levels optimization.

You’ve Got Freight

You’ve Got Freight” is also a game where you have to manage containers transportation. The different teams have orders to honor and can choose different transportation possibilities. Like Master Shipper, the team performance depends on the transportation costs, the CO2 emissions and the number of days to deliver the containers. The game has a board and the score is calculated thanks to a web tool.

My opinion about “You’ve Got Freight”

You've Got Freight!

I had the opportunity to test “You’ve Got Freight” during the second gaming session. I have appreciated the possibility of the game to negotiate with the others teams in order to optimize the transport and avoid under or over-capacity. Indeed, communication and collaboration are the objectives of this game more than the optimization of the transport. Nevertheless this objective is not completely met. Our team has indeed won the game with the lowest cost of transportation, the lowest emission of CO2 and a bit slower but above all we have never communicated with the others teams. I think that an other improvement would be to find an easier way to follow the scores. Scores are calculated thanks to a program and even if they are displayed live it is still abstract. Besides, in order to comply more with the idea of “experiential learning”, an idea could be to have more materials with cubes which would symbolize the containers and spots on the routes to see if we are in under or over-capacity. Each team could also have several scorelines to see their expenses and their CO2 emissions.

Service Supply Chain Game

This serious game is also a boardgame. Each player or group of players play the role of an actor of the logistics chain. They have to cooperate to tackle failures of machines which need spare-parts. Hazards are simulated by throws of dices to determine the number of failed machines and the internal demand of spare-parts by the supplier. The difficulty can be easily adapted by modifying the board or by giving objectives cards to each teams.

The video which promotes the game gives a good overview of “Service Supply Chain Game”.

My opinion about “Service Supply Chain Game”

Service Supply Chain Game

The game is very complete and adaptable in difficulty and for various contexts. The duration of the gaming sessions has only enabled us to get a quick overview. I have played the role of the supplier and at the end of the game I have only begun to understand his challenges. I stayed focused on my role and it was difficult to understand the challenges of the other teams. To my mind we should play several times with each time a different role to understand the whole logistics chain. During the demo we did not have a debriefing but to my mind, a “real” game session should include a debriefing moment. Indeed, this debriefing at the end of the game allows players to know where they can improve.

BI Practice Game

The firm “Freight Plaza” has done the workshop “BI Practice Game”. The firm has a specialization in transportation and offers more and more Business Intelligence services. They also teach Business Intelligence at the university. It’s in this context that they want to improve students’ engagement and to enable them to quickly manipulate data thanks to a serious game. Thus the objective is to discover Business Intelligence, how BI can be used in an organization and how it can help to take better decision.

The Blue Connection

This digital game is played by teams of 4 people who can choose among several roles: the sales manager, the purchasing manager, the finance manager and the supply-chain manager. The challenge for this company is to adopt a circular model economy. They have to take decisions to meet the requirements of their department and to respect the transformation ambition of their company.

More information is available on the website of the serious game “The Blue Connection”.

Rondje Logistiek (Discover logistics)

This application has been developed by 21CC Education and aims to discover logistics and to attract new talents in this sector. The application contains different games, videos and competition mechanisms.

“Rondje Logistiek” is available through the Play Store and the AppStore.

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