tablet-alt-solid The chocolate firm

In this operations management simulation, student teams manage their own chocolate factories. It provides a systematic way of looking at an organisation’s processes, being a chocolate production facility, to grasp a better understanding of the principles of operations management.

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Each student team competes against other teams in the same module or class. This makes the management simulation highly competitive, dynamic and realistic. Each round they play is equal to one year of operations. The ranking list that determines the winning team is based on their performance on the scorecard and the operational targets they have set themselves at the start of the management simulation.

Main learning objectives

Main learning objectives of the Chocolate Firm:

  • A clear understanding of operations and operations management.
  • Able to identify the different roles and responsibilities of operation managers.
  • Identify operational and administrative processes.
  • A better understanding of lean production, asset - and cost management.
  • Able to describe the boundaries of an operations system, recognize its interfaces with other functional areas within the chocolate factory and its external environment.
  • Apply the transformation model to identify the inputs, transformation processes and outputs of the factory.

How to assess 

The chocolate firm simulation could be assessed in different ways. Below are the options that are used most frequently:

  • Create an individual reflection report on what students have achievedd and what they have learnt from the simulation.
  • Written report in which students write down each round what decisions they have taken and what they believe the outcomes will be. They reflect on the decisions made in the previous round and continue this process throughout the simulation.
  • Prepare a presentation (to virtual stakeholders) and explain the decisions the team made.
  • The ranking list could become a component of the assessment. But not on its own. It should be combined with either a reflection report or written report.



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Student levels: Final year UG, PG, MSc, MBA
Module subjects: Operations management, Supply chain management 
Languages: nl gb


Why choose  a management game?

In a management game, theoretical models are put into practice. Management games give participants a unique experience in which mutual collaboration, analytical thinking and insight into complex and dynamic relationships are important learning effects.


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