LINKS Global SCM Competition: What's New?

About What's New?  Competition participants should check this “What's New?” webpage several times weekly throughout the LINKS Global Competition. This “What's News?” webpage is the primary form of communication from to participants throughout the competition. Time-sensitive news and announcements will be e-mailed directly to participants.

December 7, 2020LINKS Global SCM Competition: The 2021 LINKS Global SCM Competition is scheduled for September-November 2021. The LINKS Supply Chain Management Simulation is used in the LINKS Global SCM Competition.

Highlights of the LINKS Global SCM Competition:

  • Cross-Institution 8-Round Supply Chain Management Simulation Competition
  • Your Student Teams Compete Against Student Teams From Other Institutions
  • Challenges Students in an Intense Team-Based Cross-Institution Competition
  • For Students in Academic Degree-Granting Programs Worldwide
  • Targeted at Upper-Level Undergraduates and All MBAs
  • Further details about the October-November 2021 LINKS Global SCM Competition (scheduling, student eligibility, costs, and registration procedure) are accessible via the LINKS Global Competition link on the LINKS website.

     Registration signup and payment deadline for the 2021 LINKS Global SCM Competition: September 21, 2021

    Participating in a LINKS Global SCM Competition is an alternative instructional/learning opportunity to the traditional usage of LINKS within a single instructor’s course (i.e., an event with students from a single course conducted according to the course instructor’s preferred scheduling).

    Questions? Faculty members with questions about the LINKS Global SCM Competition are invited to contact Randy Chapman, the LINKS author (

    November 13, 2020LINKS Global SCM Competition Results: 21 teams with a total of 72 participants competed in the October-November 2020 LINKS Global SCM Competition with the LINKS Supply Chain Management Simulation. The 21 teams were grouped into three LINKS industries in this competition.

    Winners ('Gold Medalists') of the three industries in this LINKS Global SCM Competition are:
  • Industry SC1: firms 6 (University of Wisconsin - Madison) and 7 (University of Wisconsin - Madison)
  • Industry SC2: firms 3 (Ohio State University) and 7 (University of Wisconsin - Madison)
  • Industry SC3: firms 5 (Kennesaw State University) and 8 (City University of Hong Kong)

    Performance evaluation was based on the multi-factor balanced scorecard performance evaluation system described in the LINKS Supply Chain Management Simulation participant's manual. In competition industries with six or more student-managed firms, the top two teams in each LINKS competition industry are designated equal (unranked) co-winners ('Gold Medalists'); in competition industries with five or less student-managed firms, the top team in each LINKS competition industry is designated the winner ('Gold Medalist').

    Congratulations to all!

    November 4, 2020 Due to heightened worldwide air cargo security concerns, air transportation has been suspended for in-bound SAC procurements and for finished goods shipments to regional DCs in LINKS set-top box industries. LINKS firms now need to use surface transportation exclusively for SAC procurements and for shipments of finished goods to regional DCs.

    Emergency procurements and emergency shipments to regional DCs (executed automatically, as needed, by the LINKS software) continue to be possible, since the extra costs associated with such emergency procurements and emergency shipments include the extra security-related costs associated with expedited air transportation.

    There is no credible and reliable forecast about how long these air transportation restrictions might remain in effect. Watch for further news on this topic.

    October 21, 2020 Month #7 Standings: After four rounds of the LINKS Global SCM Competition, the two leading firms in each of the competition industries are as follows (listed in numerical firm-number order, not ranking order ... these firms should be viewed as equal and unranked 'co-leaders' in their respective LINKS Global SCM Competition industries):
  • Industry SC1: firms 4 and 6 (Ohio State University and University of Wisconsin - Madison)
  • Industry SC2: firms 5 and 6 (University of Wisconsin - Madison and University of Wisconsin - Madison)
  • Industry SC3: firms 5 and 8 (Kennesaw State University and City University of Hong Kong)
  • This will be the only public results reporting until the end of the LINKS Global Supply Chain Management Competition. But, of course, LINKS firms have access to their competitive standing in their LINKS industry within the LINKS reports provided after each game run.

    Well done ... so far!

    'Leadership' and 'winning' are based on the performance evaluation system described in the LINKS participant's manual. Also, please reference the LINKS Global Competition FAQs for more details about 'co-winners' in LINKS Global Competitions.

    October 21, 2020As part of today's Month #7 simulation round in the LINKS Global SCM Competition, Alpha and Beta raw materials costs increased 50% from their former levels. With regard to the future, it's unknown and uncertain if/when further raw materials costs changes might occur.

    October 7, 2020As part of today's Month #5 simulation round in the LINKS Global SCM Competition, the generate demand and service input web-screens in the LINKS Simulation Database were made accessible.

    So, in addition to managing the whole supply side of your set-top box business, teams in the LINKS Global SCM Competition now may actively manage demand-drivers in the set-top box industry. And, of course, this provides further challenges in balancing demand and supply.

    September 30, 2020 Month #4 Status Report: Finally, the anticipation is over! The initial round in the LINKS Global SCM Competition is complete. And, the best news ... all firms in the three LINKS competition industries are profitable! Bravo!

    In looking forward to Month #5 in the LINKS Global SCM Competition, teams should be broadly managing the whole supply chain system. Continue to work on the core SCM elements of procurement, manufacturing, and forecasting decisions. But, network design considerations should now be addressed. Should your firm have regional DCs? If so, in which region or regions? And, if your firm chooses to have one or more regional DCs, should they be owned or outsourced? And, of course, transportation management questions (carrier selection and transportation mode) arise with regional DCs. With a regional DC network, your inventory management challenges increase since you'll have more separate inventory holdings across your firm's distribution network.

    With regional DCs, your manufacturing strategy ... including the possible use of postponed production ... may need to be re-assessed. Should you include postponed production in your manufacturing program? If so, through which DCs (which must, of course, be owned DCs for the second-stage of postponed production to occur)? And, what level of postponed production is appropriate (relative to total manufacturing)?

    September 22, 2020 Final Registration Status For the Global SCM Competition: There are 21 teams with a total of 72 students registered for the September-November 2020 LINKS Global SCM Competition with the LINKS Supply Chain Management Simulation.

    Participating institutions include:
    Baylor University
    City University of Hong Kong
    City University of London
    Kennesaw State University
    Ohio State University
    University of Wisconsin - Madison

    The 21 teams are grouped into three LINKS Supply Chain Management Simulation industries for the LINKS Global SCM Competition.

    Welcome to all!

    Reminder: About LINKS Game Run TimingThe LINKS Administrator executes LINKS game runs; LINKS doesn't run automatically on the web-server. LINKS game runs involve downloading an industry's inputs from the LINKS web-server, running the LINKS software on a Windows-based PC, checking the results, uploading new results to the LINKS web-server, and e-mailing all industry participants a 'New Results Available' message. We only promise prompt turnaround of LINKS game runs (within three hours of the input submission deadline) in the 800am-1000pm timeframe US Eastern Time. Sometimes, late-night US Eastern Time game runs will be executed shortly after the input submission deadline. But, more typically, industries with last-night input submission deadlines are executed early the following morning (US Eastern Time). In any event, all industry participants are e-mailed a 'New Results Available' message after the completion of a LINKS game run.

    Reminder: About LINKS InputsWhile any number of members of a LINKS firm may access the LINKS Simulation Database simultaneously, only one member at a time can input new decisions. If multiple members of a LINKS firm attempt to make inputs simultaneously, problems can arise. All decision inputs might not be saved successfully on the LINKS server with simultaneous inputs from multiple LINKS firm members. Any number of 'browsers' may simultaneously page through the LINKS Simulation Database viewing the current inputs. However, only one member of a LINKS firm at a time can input new decisions.

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    Reminder: About The LINKS Web-ServerThe LINKS website is hosted by a commercial web-hosting service on a shared server. Server traffic on the other sites hosted on the LINKS server can occasionally slow access to LINKS. And, more generally, server traffic can be congested at any particular point in time due to internet-wide load factors. If you encounter an apparent “server outage” when you attempt to access LINKS, please try again later (say an hour later). Past experience with the hosting service is that “server outages” are usually of relatively short duration. We continue to be pleased with the performance of our web-server host, 1&1 Internet Inc. Our experience is that the LINKS web-server is “up” 99%+ of the time, which is certainly an excellent performance level. Of course, this still implies that there will be occasional “outages” of, perhaps, an hour or so per week. For LINKS users, the possibility of unexpected web-server outages implies that you shouldn’t wait until the last minute to access the LINKS Simulation Database to submit your inputs. And, a contingency plan should be in place, “just in case” inputting problems arise. Such contingency planning is, of course, a normal part of business planning and LINKS is, after all, a simulation of business management principles/practices/challenges.

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