ERP stands for Enterprise Resource Planning systems. Enterprises seek competitive methods to have an advantage over their competitors and ERPs vendors such as Oracle, Microsoft Dynamics, SAP and the likes gives them that upper hand in their sectors. Many have invested immensely in enterprise resource planning systems due to the wide spread incorporation of ERP systems. Demand for ERPs has created difficulties in many business institutions of learning. Previously the use of functional based learning was employed, but of late, with technological advancement, efficient multidisciplinary knowledge of the various business principles is vital. This has led to many business institutions to offer training in ERP courses or incorporate it in the curricula. The effectiveness of SAP stimulation game as a tool for student learning of ERP concepts is a method that needs understanding.
ERP systems are complex structured applications containing exceeding many features, configurations and processes. It utilizes an understandable integrated database and has a complex of systems to support various jointed processes. The ERP stimulation game needs a student to manage a business using an actual SAP customer, Also, teams of students can compete against each other in managing a virtual firms cash cycle. Stimulation is not a new phenomenon in the technological field. It has been in use for training in key sectors since a while ago with the military being an example of a sector that has been using the system. The objective of the stimulation is to assist students develop a proper comprehension of SAP applications and ERP assimilated enterprise concepts. Utilization of stimulation games minimizes hands-on computer procedural tasks since students acquire technical skills by solving real enterprise hitches.
Majority of business training institutions have been focusing on traditional ERP methods that entail command and procedure based processes in order to enforce comprehension of the system knowledge to scholars and participants. Other institutions employ the use of case studies in the training business concepts behind the ERP complex structure.
SAPs are the only stimulator with a student interface. Individuals are paced in the stimulator and manage businesses by making decisions directly in the SAP system. Business transactions done are similar to those in the world’s largest enterprises. The stimulation is automated, and the system provides each firm with equally large numbers of orders every minute, delivery delays and accounts for capacity constraints, raw materials and inventory. Major business ideas and decisions made in the stimulation include product formulation, where the ingredients are mixed to create a product; market targets, done regionally in a country and involves retails, wholesales; pricing of products; sales records, where quantities to be sold are planned and predicted; advertising; investments etc.
The game requires players to make key decisions and execute complex undertakings with the main objective being to maximize profits of the virtual company. The game has enterprise managerial data and the participating individual examines these to come up with concrete decisions that aim at profit making. The ERP stimulation gives a unique and different way of improving business processes and also enhances SAP knowledge and skills. It gives the student or participant better comprehension of skills in decision making and learns how to be more productive by incorporating ERP software. Besides the above, the system also enhances developmental of skills in time management and critical thinking since the stimulation is time specific and requires thinking to learn its operation and to execute tasks.
Research into the ERP incorporation and effectiveness shows that skill levels and business decision making capacities of students were significantly enhanced. The stimulator was instrumental in learning ERP concepts and enterprise processes. Students who went through the system also had an advantage in the market with better salaries compared to college graduates with business majors.