Brandon PAGE \* MERGEFORMAT 2 Matt Brandon Bronowitz / Regier November 20, 2008 Reflection 5 GoVenture Simulation Analysis Background The GoVenture Simulation was a great slap in the face. It forces participants to face and react to a number of situations while simultaneously developing a business plan that prevents the business from failing or defaulting to the bank. Even though it can be done from under the covers in one?s own bed, this simulation creates a truly high-stress, fast-paced scenario designed to test even those who consider themselves to be more business savvy than others. My setup resulted in the purchase of a $99,000 franchise called Sports Galore. I acquired a $40,000 loan from the bank to pay for startup and inventory expenses and then chose the most suburban area that would likely support my medium-grade sporting goods. My first day was spent exhausting every advertising venue possible to get the word out about my new store, which then had close its doors to every customer due to poor planning. This was my first time managing every aspect of a business, and it proved difficult even in a virtual setting. The Planning Process I could not have butchered the planning process more than I did with Sports Galore during its grand opening. Rather than opening the store to customers with full shelves and eager employees, the doors were closed and I lost thousands of dollars of potential revenue. I did not consider that my building needs electricity to run, nor did I think to pay the phone company for service that I would need to order inventory. Without power, I could not open the store. Without a phone, I could not order the inventory that was needed to earn revenue. Without revenue, I could not pay off the exorbitant bills from the Sports Galore corporate office that allowed me to operate a business under its name. I played the simulation to a point where the business became profitable, but the initial outlook was bleak. In my defense, planning was difficult because there was no way to know which items were going to be popular or how high the inventory turnover would be. For example, the people in my area were oddly attracted to boxing gloves. It seemed that as long as the price was slightly reasonable, people kept buying this item. The scenario must have placed me in a small community of boxers. Over time, statistics showing which items were popular at a given time in the week could have been developed that would have been instrumental in the planning process. The simulation is largely indicative of my real life. I have a nasty habit of forgetting about important preparatory steps in many different processes, and procrastination has become a way of life for me. Forgetting about the electric and phone bills is a perfect example of this unfortunate personality characteristic that I have developed. In real life, I would compare this to skipping the outline step in writing a paper. An outline allows for at least a minimal amount of organization. I am getting better about putting these together prior to actually writing the paper, but I would still call myself a work in progress. My outlines range from very simple to highly complex. Some contain one word entries and others have full sentences or thorough analyses of a given topic. Even when outlines are a part of my process, it is hard for me to think of a single instance where I had a paper written more than one day before it was due. Execution / Routine Decision-making ultimately comes down to the execution of a task. Those who are able to execute confidently and effectively will be the ones who are successful. In the simulation, my ability to make good decisions was severely impaired by a lack of knowledge about the necessary components of operating a business. As mentioned, the concept of paying bills was completely foreign to me. Keeping employees happy was difficult as was maintaining inventory levels. However, I was able to adapt. When service was slow according to customer comments, I hired additional staff members to cover times of the week that experienced heavy traffic. When Carl failed to show up for his shift, I made the decision to fire him on the spot. I will have no nonsense on my staff. A main factor of the management process that I struggled with was keeping popular items on my store?s shelves. I found that I was unable to accurately predict demand at first, and as a result many of the items were sold out within a day of their arrival. In order to halt this temporarily, I raised the prices of many of the items until I could procure a manageable amount of inventory. This was more of a rushed, last-ditch effort decision than anything. However, it helped slow the sales of popular items. Those that did sell gained more profit, so this decision was not entirely rash. Thankfully, life moves slower than a GoVenture simulation. I felt like a lot of my decisions did not turn out the way that I wanted them to throughout the simulation, but this could have been avoided had there been more time to think things through. An inventory system is never devised in a matter of seconds, which is good because mine failed miserably. Years of data ought to be included in the planning process. Ideally, input from various sources will go into any supply chain model, especially because I am not an expert in this field. Conclusion I was surprised at how entertaining this program was. Before I could think twice, nearly two hours passed. Apparently, feelings of frustration and complete failure make time fly by. I intend to continue the simulation until I can either successfully pay off Sports Galore or fail to make the payment, depending on which circumstance presents itself first. This will help me develop better planning skills and teach me to ensure that all of my bases are covered for when I manage my own business. Everything needs to be closely monitored ranging from employee morale, inventory, bills, advertising, and customer satisfaction. Developing knowledge of all of these areas will help me be more confident about any split-second decisions that must be made throughout the scenario. After playing it through the entire way, hopefully these skills will transfer to my life as well.
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