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Using a Paper-Based Supply Chain Game to Enhance Student Learning with Enterprise Software

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2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 23, 2018

Start Date

June 23, 2018

End Date

July 27, 2018

Conference Session

Active Learning Methods in Action

Tagged Division

Educational Research and Methods

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Paper Authors


Scott Abney East Carolina University

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Scott Abney is currently an Assistant Professor at East Carolina University while completing his Ph.D. in Industrial Engineering Technology from Purdue University. Scott has previously obtained a Master of Science in Industrial Technology from Purdue as well as a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Eastern Kentucky University. Scott currently teaches the Introduction to Distribution and Logistics course at East Carolina University. His research interests are: supply chain management, sustainability, lean manufacturing, and ERP system integration in curriculum.

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Mark Angolia East Carolina University Orcid 16x16

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Mark G. Angolia is an Assistant Professor of Industrial Distribution and Logistics in the College of Engineering and Technology at East Carolina University. Entering academia after 20 years in the automotive supply chain, his research interests include ERP systems, technology management applications for distribution and logistics, and higher education pedagogy. He holds a PhD in Technology Management from Indiana State University, a Master of Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, professional certifications of CPIM and CSCP from APICS, and a PMP from PMI. Dr. Angolia also conducts consulting projects and professional development seminars for local industry on topics including forecasting, inventory control, production planning, project management, transportation logistics, procurement, and supply chain management.

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Leslie Pagliari East Carolina University

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Dr. Leslie Pagliari serves as Associate Dean for Academic Affairs in the College of Engineering and Technology and Professor in the department of Technology Systems.

Her research interests center on STEM initiatives, leadership, global supply chain issues, and new technologies in the distribution and logistics sector. She was one of three professors in the United States recognized in an Inbound Logistics Article featuring leading professors in today’s supply chain curriculum.

She has worked with a team of colleagues at East Carolina University to plan a STEM initiative for 8th grade girls. This initiative helped bring more than 100 Pitt County girls to campus
to engage them in Science, Technology, Engineering, Math and Medicine Fields. She has also worked with ECU’s Global Academic Initiatives to collaborate with other institutions throughout the world.

In addition, Dr. Pagliari collaborates with many external organizations. She is past president of APICS (Association of Operations Management) and past Education Chair for the CSCMP (Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals). She also served as a board member for the Museum of the Marine in Jacksonville, NC and the Eastern Carolina Safety and Health School. She continues to serves on multiple organizations with the University, College, and Department. Dr. Pagliari was selected and completed the BRIDGES Academic Leadership for Women hosted by UNC-Chapel Hill.

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In today’s competitive marketplace, companies are continuously tapping into technological advances in order to gain a competitive advantage as well as increase efficiency throughout their supply chain. One widely used information technology is Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software. Between 2014 and 2020, the ERP market is expected to grow 7.2% worldwide. This increase in industry use has led to the adoption of ERP software applications in higher education curriculum, as currently over 3,000 universities worldwide have affiliations with various commercial ERP software providers. Furthermore, studies have shown that students who have previous coursework in some kind of ERP system have higher starting salaries than their peers with similar coursework.

There has been research on effective methods of teaching ERP processes in order to prepare undergraduate students for careers that will use ERP systems. However, little research exists on methods to prepare students before actual hands-on experience with ERP software. Using real-world, live software immerses students for the purpose of experiential learning, but presents the dual complexity of learning challenging software along with understanding the fundamental business processes managed. The purpose of this paper is to explore the use of a manual, paper-based supply chain game as an effective teaching tool to prepare students for successful introduction into practical application of software systems used to develop higher level concepts.

This paper defines and explains the “Paper Game,” developed by the ERPsim Lab at HEC Montreal, used to model business processes within an order-to-cash cycle for a manufacturing company at the center of a three-tier supply chain. Implementation and execution strategies are detailed, demonstrating the benefits of utilizing the Paper Game prior to introducing students to ERP system software. Survey data collected from students during spring and fall 2017 show that the majority of students believed the game was engaging and expressed satisfaction with the benefits provided. Recommendations for use and strategies for the Paper Game, plus applications for non-ERP system coursework, is also presented.

Abney, S., & Angolia, M., & Pagliari, L. (2018, June), Using a Paper-Based Supply Chain Game to Enhance Student Learning with Enterprise Software Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--31196

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