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Updates reflect change in commercial climate

Published on Friday, 13 Apr 2012
Russell Morris
Consultant to the Hong Kong Management Association

Keeping pace with the latest developments in the commercial arena, the Hong Kong Management Game will incorporate many updated features to make the game more realistic and reflective of the current business environment.

Game designer Russell Morris says the updated version features debtors who can be controlled at a market level, thus creating more realism for contestants. "It also means that the contestants need to pay more attention to debtors as part of their strategic decision-making," notes Morris, who has been designing the game since its inception in the 1980s. Completing this new feature is a new debtor analysis.

In the past the software simulated a company using cash only with token creditor and debtor facilities. In this computer-simulated operation of a make-believe company, the creditors can now choose among three methods to pay the expenses. Firstly, some of the expense must be paid in cash from the budgeted cash usage. Cash available during the trading period can also be used for this purpose. Lastly, some expenses can be marked for creditors and the payment settled later, Morris says.

"The contestants can now control all the different expense items individually, including wages, tax, marketing and plant purchase. The game software of the participants has been enhanced to show these figures," he adds.

The Management Report has undergone a major overhaul, Morris notes. It will feature a new cash flow statement, whose design is based on the statutory requirements in Hong Kong and the United States. It now accommodates two new reports and various enhanced features to the footnotes and comments to include a summary of any special decisions by a participant, and occasionally, the decisions made by all the teams.

"The participant's software has been upgraded to include comments and messages where they are most needed, in the specific fields to which they refer," notes Morris.

"A summary budget section has been added to create more understanding of the company's financial situation."

With an additional tender type, there are as many as seven possible markets for up to three different products, plus a fixed price tender. "Major organisations will offer tenders for a fixed quantity at a fixed price," says Morris. "The nature of the organisations is that they will accept all bids."

Taking note of further market internationalisation, losses caused by exchange rates or charges can now be applied to all markets rather than just the immediate tender markets as previously, Morris notes.

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