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Operations management -- Decision making -- Study and teaching (Higher), Business logistics -- Planning, Supply chain management, Sales management


Within the classroom it is often difficult to convey the complexities and intricacies that go into making sales and operations planning decisions. This article describes an in‐class simulation that allows students to gain hands‐on experience with the complexities in making forecasting, inventory, and supplier selection decisions as part of the sales and operations planning process. The activity may be run during one class period and is flexible enough to accommodate almost any class size. During the simulation, students may apply forecasting techniques, inventory management concepts, and supplier selection processes, while experiencing the effects of supply chain disruptions. This simulation is recommended to be used after forecasting, inventory management, and supplier selection topics have been discussed. An overview of the exercise and evidence of its effectiveness is provided.


This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: A Simulation for Managing Complexity in Sales and Operations Planning Decisions, which has been published in final form at This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Self-Archiving.



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