Students gain valuable insight from industry experts…
How many of us take for granted the availability of products and goods in our shops without thinking about the processes involved in keeping Britain stocked up? With the Port of Felixstowe on the doorstep, and the development of the multi-million pound, state of the art logistics centre about to start, Felixstowe Academy students were given an insight into global logistics with industry experts.
Sixth Form Business students were lucky enough to experience how the global supply chain works through a game that simulates the inner workings of logistics in the real world. The creators of the game ‘Business on the Move’ travelled from the North of England to explain the game and principles behind global trading, alongside Mr Murray Gibson, Head of Portcentric Business and Operational Development at Uniserve Holdings.
Uniserve’s new Super Distribution Centre will be 40 metres high, covering 2 million square feet over four floors and providing more than 150,000 racked pallet positions distribution hub within the Port of Felixstowe. The modern distribution centre aims to become the leading one-stop supply management centre for organisations bringing goods into the UK through the port.
Sixth Form student, Ollie Hazell, explained how the game was played: ‘Throughout the day we were taught to play the game ‘Business on the Move’. It was actually a really fun and interactive board game that showed us the importance of logistics and how it works in the 21st century.’
‘Each game had a banker and four teams who took on the role of major logistical firms in the world. The aim of the game was to deliver a range of goods to various customers, ensuring that we didn’t go bankrupt in the process.’
‘The game introduced us to the problems you encounter when moving goods around the world. The experts were on hand though to guide us through the game, increasing the game’s difficulties so that by the end of the day we could realise the true reality of business logistics.’
The day wasn’t just about playing games as Ollie went on to explain: ‘Once we had experience of more ‘real life’ factors in the game, we then had to apply our vocational business lessons to put the theory into practice.’
‘Each team was tasked with creating a balance sheet and a profit and loss account to see who the winners of the game were. This was really interesting as you don’t often have to factor costs in a board game, so it didn’t necessarily mean the team with the most money won.’
Mr Gibson really enjoyed the interaction with students, and seeing them develop their understanding as the day progressed: ‘For an industry that we have all come to rely on, global logistics tends to be happening in the background. It is not surprising then so few of us have any idea how inter-dependent the various processes and players really are. Business on the Move seeks to explain the supply chain on a number of levels in a unique and intuitive way that makes it informative, competitive and above all fun.’
Mr Ellul, Subject Leader for Business Studies remarked, “It’s a very good game to introduce the complexities of supply chain practice.”
Ollie added: ‘Winners from each game won a prize from Mr Gibson. But, in my opinion, the main prize was gaining a vital insight into the global supply chain and the roles that are available through a company like Uniserve. With the careers available close to us in Felixstowe, the experience gained from the day will help us in the future.’
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