Prof Stephen Thomson is teaching within the International Business Management and Accounting, Auditing, and the Supply Chain and Operations Management Diploma Program at the School of Business & Hospitality at the Conestoga College.
With over an 18 years' experience implementing ERP systems and developing business intelligence solutions, Stephen is currently the SAP faculty liaison responsible for supporting the sue of Enterprise systems and business analytics throughout the School of Business and Hospitality.
Using ERPsim in Class
In courses that focus on business processes, Professor Thompson intentionally incorporates ERPsim in one or two classes per semester. By doing so, he ensures that students grasp the fundamental concepts of operating business processes in a practical, engaging manner when introducing them to the complexities of decision-making within a simulated business context.
On the more advanced end, particularly in the capstone course for supply chain management programs, ERPsim is a staple throughout the entire semester. Here, students engage with ERPsim weekly, using the Manufacturing Introduction game during the first half of the semester. This part of the course is crucial for developing analytics skills and decision support models, often utilizing tools like Excel to aid in their decision-making processes within the game.
As the semester progresses, the focus shifts to strategy development and team collaboration. Students employ the Manufacturing Extended game in the latter half of the semester, putting into practice their strategies and decision-making skills. This phase is critical for analyzing their performance, using their developed analytics to assess the effectiveness of their strategies.
I've used ERPsim both in class and online asynchronously at this point, and it works really well in both settings.
Professor Thompson's use of ERPsim goes beyond mere academic exercises. It prepares students for real-world challenges. Graduates often report that the course has been instrumental in equipping them with skills for planning activities and data extraction from ERP systems, making them valuable assets, especially in smaller companies where such expertise is highly sought after.
The introduction of ERP simulation games became a transformative tool in Professor Thomson's teaching approach. These simulations allowed for a vivid demonstration of how an integrated information system operates. For instance, when making decisions like setting product inventory prices or determining marketing expenses, students could access crucial information, including their account balance and inventory levels. They could also analyze sales data to identify trends and pricing strategies. These diverse reports, essential for data-driven decision-making, could be efficiently explored through the ERPsim games.
The ERPsim Lab, all the people involved, have created such an inclusive ecosystem. I'm just so proud to be part of it. I feel like I found my tribe.
Professor Stephen Thompson's experience with the ERPsim Lab at Conestoga College is a testament to the collaborative and inclusive nature of this innovative educational environment.
His adaptability is particularly relevant in the evolving landscape of education, where the ability to engage students effectively in both traditional classroom environments and through remote, asynchronous learning platforms is increasingly important.