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The Outsourcing Game

It's hard enough to make effective supply chain decisions within a single company.
Are you prepared for decision-making in a highly-outsourced world?

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Outsourcing converts an internal function--such as logistics, purchasing, manufacturing, or design--into an externally procured service.

The consequence? Supply chain management becomes a political game of negotiations and relative power.

  • Decision-making authority is distributed across multiple companies
  • Incentives are more difficult to align
  • Actions and information become harder to monitor
  • Relationships are shorter-term and more transactional

To better prepare your managers, engineers, and technical contributors for the changing nature of supply chain management, give them hands-on experience with a learning simulation called the "Outsourcing Game."

Since 2003, the Outsourcing Game has been played by more than 1,000 people in North America, Asia, and Europe.

The Scenario
Acme is a well-known company that sells, among other things, its branded widgets through large retail chains. Acme currently offers two widget products, a high-end version and a low-end version.

Game participants are divided into five teams to play the roles of Acme, BuildIT (contract manufacturer), Design (outsourced design firm), Hi-N (supplier of the high-end subassembly), and Loen (supplier of the low-end subassembly).

The Decision
In the game, Acme is interested in using a common subassembly for its widget product line. However, because of outsourcing, Acme must work with its supply chain partners to implement the decision.

Two of its partners are in favor of commonality and two are against it. Participants--through a series of negotiations--determine how the scenario plays out.


To learn more, contact Emeraldwise today at learnmore@emeraldwise.com.

Because of outsourcing, decisions that were once made unilaterally are now driven by negotiations, coalition formation, and co-dependent collaboration. Is your team prepared?

"Great job by the facilitators! My team and I both felt that the content and instruction were excellent. The class expanded our knowledge of how the different companies' objectives can set up natural conflicts. This has better prepared us to work with our current design and manufacturing partner."

Manager of Mechanical Engineering and Procurement, Hewlett Packard

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