A student team from the Cal State LA College of Business and Economics (CBE) Department of Information Systems placed second in an international business simulation competition this fall.
Shah Akshat Utpal, Markus Just, Dr. Ming Wang, Sindhuja Dasaka, and Uriel Avila representing Cal State LA.
The team of four CBE MSIS graduate students—Shah Akshat Utpal, Markus Just, Uriel Avila, and Sindhuja Dasaka—were coached by Dr. Ming Wang, professor of information systems. They put their real-world business skills to the test during the ERPsim Sustainability Challenge, competing against students from 19 colleges and universities from across the U.S., Canada, Germany, Austria and Switzerland.
It was the first time Cal State LA has participated in the competition, which gives students the opportunity to run their own virtual company using ERPsim on a real-time SAP S/4HANA platform, the very same software large enterprises use for resource planning.
As part of the daylong competition on Oct. 27, students managed their company for a period of 10 simulated days, during which they must determine the most efficient logistics strategy to move product from warehouse to regional storage locations. Students must factor in each product’s cost, initial price, push and pull, and regional demand, putting into practice valuable lessons learned in the classroom.
A slide describing SAP ERPsim.
One of the variables students managed in ERPsim.
The students assumed core roles found in businesses in a virtual game meant to gauge company valuation and incorporate sustainability considerations. In preparation, CBE students rehearsed possible scenarios in ERPsim leading up to the competition, with Akshat, acting as CEO and team leader, Just acting as purchasing order manager, Avila acting as manager of sales, and Dasaka acting as material planning manager.
The CBE team held the lead until the fourth and final round, finishing just behind Western Washington University by a small overall financial margin and a slightly higher carbon emissions rate.
“We had different tasks but had to work interchangeably. By finishing second in the world, we proved that we were able to cooperate well using strong communication,” Just said. “It was interesting seeing how we worked as a team and played on each other’s strengths.”
“My love for business pushed me to work on different pricing strategies and business operations as a leader,” Akshat added.
Dr. Wang said she is grateful that the SAP University Alliances program provides the access needed to SAP ERP and ERPsim, which allow students to use real-time data analysis to make strategic business decisions while having fun in a simulated environment. Next year, their sights are set on first place.
Dr. Wang’s class, proudly supporting the CBE team. The team was selected from a CIS 5320 class competition.