#SanFrancisco #SFSU #San Francisco State University #SF #Graduate #Undergraduate #Information technology #IS #Management Information Systems #MIS


Dr. Nasser Shahrasbi is an Associate Professor in the Department of Information Systems at the Lam Family College of Business at San Francisco State University. Before joining SFSU, he completed his Ph.D. at HEC Montréal and worked as a teaching assistant. He got introduced to ERPsim while being a TA in 2010 and was certified at levels one and two in 2015.

Using ERPsim in class

Dr. Shahrasbi uses ERPsim in a course called "Introduction to MIS" at both undergraduate and graduate levels (MBA/MSBA). He recently revamped it using the ERPsim Logistics and Manufacturing game to increase student engagement, which increased its popularity for students from San Francisco State University. This reorganization project was his first mandate at the University, and he earned a grant for it.

He uses ERPsim to familiarize his students with the concepts of enterprise resource systems, how an organization works and how the different back-office business processes work together. For the undergraduate business students, this is a core and mandatory course, which means that students from various backgrounds attend the class with different knowledge of the business areas of an organization. The class offers an upper-level view of what business processes are, and the topics are also very high level because most of the students do not have a background in information science.

Dr. Shahrasbi gets his students to practice with the software, and depending on the time he has, he will try and make them play three to five times in class. He introduces the game, the scenarios, and how the interface works in the first sessions. Then, he shows them the available analytics tools little by little. The goal is for the students to understand the value of data, data integration, and analytics.

By taking this approach, his students start from knowing nothing of the game to a point where they are comfortable with it. In the end, they see the relationship between all the organization's business departments and how their mistakes affect the organization as a whole.

One of the greatest features of the game — and I think that ERPsim is one of the only simulations to have this feature and characteristic — is the team-based nature of the simulation. [In] most business simulations that I have used [...] there is only one person making decisions and the system [gives] them the feedback, and most of them are actually not really interactive.

Dr. Shahrasbi has used all of the games but only uses the logistics and manufacturing game in his courses. He has no favorite games but uses them based on the objective and level of the class.

When he teaches his undergraduate students, he prefers the Logistics Game because of its simplicity. It also helps the students follow a clear path with limited and well-defined objectives.

At the graduate level, he uses the Manufacturing Game because his students often have an industry background and a better understanding of how business processes work. The complexity of the manufacturing game offers them more challenges.

He sees value in ERPsim as it drives student engagement by offering a hands-on approach. They learn how an organization and its business processes work. The live nature of the game helps students visualize how their decisions translate into actions and results. The gamification aspect also helps as it pushes towards engagement with the software and the teammates. They learn the importance of communication and distributing the work.


Be prepared, use the provided training material, and share it with your students so that they can prepare as well.