Justin Longsworth Jagger has been an instructor in the department of supply chain management in the Broad College of Business at Michigan State University since 2007. He came to Montréal multiple times to get his ERPsim certifications and considers himself an ERPsim evangelist. He has been using ERPsim in class since 2014 and co-teaches other faculty to help them decide which game to use in their coursework.
Using ERPsim in Class
Justin Jagger uses the ERPsim logistics and manufacturing games and their different scenarios in multiple courses on both undergraduate and graduate levels.
He uses one of the games in an undergraduate logistics and transportation management course for two to three sessions. In this course, he teaches the students to recognize the concepts of logistics management and their associated costs.
In another undergraduate course called ERP in focus, he uses the manufacturing game for the semester. He starts with the introduction version and then restarts an advanced manufacturing game later in the semester. He teaches his students end-to-end manufacturing exposure, going from purchase to manufacturing and then finally to sales, while also breaking down these processes into microprocesses. In this course and in others, he uses Tableau and Lumira softwares for data visualization and analysis because their predictive analytics capabilities enable students to see what is happening at both warehouse and market levels.
He uses the logistics game at both graduate and undergraduate levels because, according to him, it is an effective tool to introduce new people to logistics. It also offers a more robust experience for graduate students to delve into the topics of data visualization and data connectivity.
For his classes, he usually integrates the material provided by HEC as-is into his own. He also redirects his students to the learning portal on the ERPsim website, where students can access additional information. However, he does not limit his students to the ERPsim SAP experience and tries to diversify their experience with SAP by introducing case studies from other UCCs.
With the manufacturing game you get that true end-to-end manufacturing exposure.
[The faculty] appreciates the value of the logistics game, one because it shows you the cost of transportation, the cost of inventory, [...] That is what ERPsim is, you are forcing the students to communicate with each other within the context of manufacturing, logistics and the backdrop of SAP.
As mentioned, Justin has experience with the logistics and manufacturing games. He does not prefer one or the other, however, he chooses the game and version to use in class based on the time available. If there are only four to six in-class hours, he will use the introduction to logistics game. Otherwise, he will use the manufacturing game.
Even though he has missed the excitement of in-class student participation during the pandemic, new communication technologies like Zoom or Teams have rendered teaching online much more manageable. He uses them to teach ERPsim online and is thinking about teaching ERPsim only on Zoom, as it has allowed him to use the breakout rooms for more in-depth conversations with the students during the games.
What he likes about ERPsim and the gamification of business education is the fact that the simulation puts students into teams where they can learn together and understand integrated business processes. It forces students to communicate with logistics, manufacturing, and SAP concepts while encouraging free thinking. It makes the student understand where the data generated from the reports originates.
Learn how to load the game and be comfortable with the technical aspects. And if you aren't, you need to find somebody you trust who can help you.
You need to be able to manage questions, assist students along the way, and communicate with a large group that has individualized questions.
Learn the game and practice as much as possible to anticipate possible questions.
Don’t be afraid to ask for colleagues' assistance when employing new technology.
Don’t try to be presumptive in student errors. If the errors occur, use them as an opportunity to learn.
Don’t limit your time with the simulation. Deep dive and multi-week exposures can be extremely valuable when participating in robust simulation.