by Randolph Frank, Nebo Iwenofu, Marshall Ma, and Rushabh Shah
This spring semester, four Duke students from the Master of Engineering Management Program participated in the MEMPC PriSim Business War Games Competition. Teams from the Master of Engineering Management Programs Consortium (MEMPC) including Northwestern, Dartmouth, Johns Hopkins, Cornell, USC, and Purdue were represented in this year’s challenge. The teams competed head to head using the StratSimManagement software platform developed by Interpretive Solutions.
Over the course of 4-weeks, each team ran a fictional automotive company and was responsible for each aspect of business operations. Each round, the teams made strategic decisions regarding marketing, new product development, technology investment, financing, and manufacturing. After the end of the round, results were made available and teams needed to readjust both short and long term strategies based on the rapidly moving competitive landscape.
The Duke MEMP team, consisting of Randolph Frank, Nebo Iwenofu, Marshall Ma, and Rushabh Shah, performed well throughout the competition and came out with many valuable lessons learned about optimizing business strategies in a competitive industry. This competition’s similarity to realistic business arena offered ample opportunities for the Duke MEMP team to experiment, learn, and reflect. Flexibility was key during this fast-paced competition. The team was leading in the initial stage with focus on the truck market but shifted their strategies with unpredictable competition, resulting in lost position in the segment. Additionally, as the team navigated through the competition, they realized that there were too many decisions and factors for one team member to handle. Each member was assigned a different area of operation which led to more efficient strategy meetings and in-depth industry analytics required for success.