Across the board

Pupils set to benefit as businesses urged to donate supply chain board games to local schools

Board game Business on the Move – currently educating young people at schools and colleges across the UK – is set to receive a further boost from businesses, which are being urged to support their local schools. 

Co-developer Patricia Smedley, a former advisory teacher and head of Business Studies, said: “In less than 12 months we have distributed more than 80% of the initial 2,800 games produced to schools and colleges all over the UK.  We are now looking for just 100 more businesses to order five games each and donate them to their local school.  We are in the crucial last mile of our social enterprise’s first production run and, with a final push of support from the business community, we can get over the finishing line.” 

When launched, Max Hyde, President of the National Union of Teachers (2014-15) said: “Business on the Move is such a brilliant concept: a game that can be played at a variety of levels, a game that is educational encouraging key skills such as teamwork, forward planning and communication, and a game that opens up so many career paths for our young people. Young people of all ages love the game.” 

The aim of the game is for players to move different products from China to their UK customers by land, sea and air, as quickly, as profitably and as responsibly as they can.  In so doing, they are faced with taking decisions similar to those made regularly by many businesses, such as: “How do I meet the delivery deadline?”; “Will I make a profit?”; “How can I improve my supply chain?” and “How can I cut my carbon footprint?” 

Students from the MSc in Logistics and Supply Chain Management at the University of Sheffield discovered that learning can be fun by playing Business on the Move.  “The board game provided intuitive examples about concepts such as lead times, modal choices and inherent complexities of global supply chains. Students enjoyed the session very much and we are looking at ways to integrate the board game into our curriculum,’ said Dr. Andrea Genovese, Programme Director for the MSc at the University. 

The game has also been warmly welcomed by other teaching staff.  “Our students were from key stage four and five, studying either Logistics (level two) or A level Business Studies,” said Claire Ette of Bishop Stopford School, Kettering.  

“With the object of the game being to complete four deliveries to designated businesses, it was interesting to see how the students aimed to achieve this. Some were prepared to take risks and didn’t mind spending a lot of their money, whilst others were more cautious and budgeted carefully.

“Strategies clearly changed as the game progressed and competition increased as business decisions were influenced and altered by the actions of their competitors.  It highlighted not only the complexities of business and the supply chain, but also the need to be astute at all times.” 

“For just over either £250 or £400 a business can help inspire young people about logistics and global supply chains and potentially open the door to a fulfilling career in the sector.  From both corporate social responsibility and PR perspectives, this has to be money well spent,” added Patricia. 

For the price, a business can purchase five games and donate them to their local school. With the backing of 50 original sponsors – including logistics providers, major retailers, financial services and others – the vast majority of the first tranche of 2,800 games produced have already been distributed to schools and colleges nationwide.   

As well as an educational board game, more than 50 classroom activities are included in the price, Business on the Move is a powerful platform for learning. Players apply their knowledge of subjects such as English, maths and geography to the reality of logistics and global supply chains through exercises devised in partnership with the game’s sponsors. Activities relate to key stage two in primary school right through to key stage five in sixth forms. All are matched to the new national curriculum.    

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