Website FAQs

Click on a link below to access that FAQ (frequently-asked question) topic.


Decision History
Excel Spreadsheet Results File
Hardcopy/Softcopy/Downloadable FAQs
Passcode Retrieval
Using a Mac to Access LINKS
Web Browser Access
Web-Server Status
Word Formatting of LINKS Results File




Decision History

“Where can I find our past decision inputs? It’s inconvenient to look back through our printouts to find the status of our decisions in the past.”

An Excel spreadsheet results file for each LINKS firm supplements the standard LINKS Word doc results file. After each LINKS round, you'll routinely access a printed copy of your firm's Word doc results file for review and analysis. The Excel spreadsheet results file doesn't replace the Word doc results file. Rather, the Excel spreadsheet results file is a supplementary reporting mechanism for your firm's financial and operating results.

The Excel supplementary results spreadsheet consists of five worksheets with supplementary data beyond that provided in each round's Word doc results file.

  • The Results worksheet includes most of the data reported in the Word doc results file, so you don’t have to manually re-input data from the Word doc results file into an Excel spreadsheet. This supplemental Excel spreadsheet isn’t designed to be particularly “pretty” … it’s strictly designed with functional considerations in mind. You’ll need to reformat this Excel spreadsheet as you see fit by, for example, cutting-and-pasting rows and columns of data into an Excel spreadsheet of your own design.
  • The Dashboard worksheet contains a single-screen top-line summary of your firm’s key results for the most-recent LINKS round.
  • The Decision History worksheet documents the last six rounds of inputs for each LINKS decision variable for your firm. This worksheet provides a convenient archival resource to access past LINKS decision inputs.
  • The Forecasts worksheet contains two extrapolative|quantitative forecasts of the next round’s sales volume. Be sure to review the details and background assumptions of these forecasts, as reported in this worksheet.
  • The KPIcharts worksheet contains charts of each LINKS KPI vs. the corresponding industry KPI best, industry KPI average, and industry KPI worst for each of the last six LINKS rounds. These KPI charts provide an appealing graphic rendition of the LINKS performance evaluation dimensions displayed in tabular form on the first page of each firm’s Word doc financial and operating reports results file.

    To access your firm’s Excel spreadsheet, click on the appropriate link on your firm’s webpage on the LINKS Simulation Database.
  • You’ll presumably wish to save this Excel spreadsheet with a suitable name on your PC. Note that each round’s Excel spreadsheet for your firm will have to same name, so you’ll need to rename successive rounds’ spreadsheets appropriately on your PC to distinguish the spreadsheets for various LINKS rounds.
  • You may wish to change the font used throughout the Excel spreadsheet to either “8514oem” (if available) or “Courier New”, 10-point size in both cases, to permit more convenient on-screen viewing.
  • You’ll need to widen the column widths to conveniently view all of the spreadsheet values and the row and column labels/titles.

    revised 05/23/2009
    [000189.html]
    listed under "Financial and Operating Reports"
    listed under "LINKS Simulations Database"
    listed under "Website"





    Excel Spreadsheet Results File

    “Where can I find our past decision inputs? It’s inconvenient to look back through our printouts to find the status of our decisions in the past.”

    An Excel spreadsheet results file for each LINKS firm supplements the standard LINKS Word doc results file. After each LINKS round, you'll routinely access a printed copy of your firm's Word doc results file for review and analysis. The Excel spreadsheet results file doesn't replace the Word doc results file. Rather, the Excel spreadsheet results file is a supplementary reporting mechanism for your firm's financial and operating results.

    The Excel supplementary results spreadsheet consists of five worksheets with supplementary data beyond that provided in each round's Word doc results file.

  • The Results worksheet includes most of the data reported in the Word doc results file, so you don’t have to manually re-input data from the Word doc results file into an Excel spreadsheet. This supplemental Excel spreadsheet isn’t designed to be particularly “pretty” … it’s strictly designed with functional considerations in mind. You’ll need to reformat this Excel spreadsheet as you see fit by, for example, cutting-and-pasting rows and columns of data into an Excel spreadsheet of your own design.
  • The Dashboard worksheet contains a single-screen top-line summary of your firm’s key results for the most-recent LINKS round.
  • The Decision History worksheet documents the last six rounds of inputs for each LINKS decision variable for your firm. This worksheet provides a convenient archival resource to access past LINKS decision inputs.
  • The Forecasts worksheet contains two extrapolative|quantitative forecasts of the next round’s sales volume. Be sure to review the details and background assumptions of these forecasts, as reported in this worksheet.
  • The KPIcharts worksheet contains charts of each LINKS KPI vs. the corresponding industry KPI best, industry KPI average, and industry KPI worst for each of the last six LINKS rounds. These KPI charts provide an appealing graphic rendition of the LINKS performance evaluation dimensions displayed in tabular form on the first page of each firm’s Word doc financial and operating reports results file.

    To access your firm’s Excel spreadsheet, click on the appropriate link on your firm’s webpage on the LINKS Simulation Database.
  • You’ll presumably wish to save this Excel spreadsheet with a suitable name on your PC. Note that each round’s Excel spreadsheet for your firm will have to same name, so you’ll need to rename successive rounds’ spreadsheets appropriately on your PC to distinguish the spreadsheets for various LINKS rounds.
  • You may wish to change the font used throughout the Excel spreadsheet to either “8514oem” (if available) or “Courier New”, 10-point size in both cases, to permit more convenient on-screen viewing.
  • You’ll need to widen the column widths to conveniently view all of the spreadsheet values and the row and column labels/titles.

    revised 05/23/2009
    [000187.html]
    listed under "Financial and Operating Reports"
    listed under "LINKS Simulations Database"
    listed under "Website"





    Hardcopy/Softcopy/Downloadable FAQs

    “Are the FAQs available in hardcopy/softcopy form (i.e., for downloading) so that they may be viewed and referenced off-line?”

    The LINKS FAQs are only available via the LINKS website. No hardcopy, softcopy, or downloadable versions of the LINKS FAQs exist. Such a listing would be something like the length of the LINKS participant's manual, which is already lengthy. The FAQs are meant to supplement not replace the LINKS participant's manual. And, of course, the website environment provides a reasonable searchable style for the FAQs.

    Each category of FAQs (e.g., "Strategy") does display on a single webpage, so it's possible to print such a webpage. And, the really dedicated LINKS student could access each of the FAQs categories and print off all of the FAQs in that way.

    The LINKS FAQs are an evolving resource, so they will be enhanced and enlarged through time. Any hardcopy printout of FAQs would only be completely current as of the date of the print-out. Thus, LINKS students are encouraged to access the LINKS FAQs via the LINKS Simulations website rather than creating their own printed copies.

    revised 09/12/2013
    [000231.html]





    Passcode Retrieval

    “How can I access my LINKS passcode?”

    You may retrieve the case-sensitive passcode for your LINKS firm in the LINKS Simulation Database via the "Retrieve LINKS Passcode" link on the LINKS webpage: http://www.LINKS-simulations.com

    Note that you must know your LINKS three-letter industry code to retrieve your passcode. If you don't know your LINKS three-letter industry code, please contact your LINKS instructor. And, to retrieve your LINKS passcode, you will be asked for your official LINKS e-mail address as recorded in the LINKS Simulation Database.

    Passcodes are only available after a LINKS industry is initialized. Initialiation occurs on a date of a LINKS instructor's choosing. To initialize a LINKS industry, the LINKS instructor provides us with the detailed game run schedule plus students' e-mail addresses grouped into LINKS teams.

    At the time your LINKS industry is initialized, all students and the instructor are e-mailed firm-specific passcode access information for the LINKS Simulation Database. If your LINKS industry has already been initialized, you can retrieve your LINKS passcode via a link on the main LINKS webpage or the LINKS Simulation Database webpage ("Retrieve LINKS Passcode").

    revised 09/12/2013
    [000043.html]
    listed under "LINKS Simulation Database"
    listed under "Passcodes"
    listed under "Website"





    Using a Mac to Access LINKS

    “Can I use my Mac to access LINKS?”

    LINKS is browser-based. We haven’t heard of any problems accessing the LINKS website via a Mac. Documents on the LINKS website (e.g., the LINKS participant's manual) are normally pdf files. So, as long as your Mac can successfully interact with pdf files, there should be no problem there. And, if necessary, you can print such documents via your school's public Windows-based PC labs.

    revised 09/22/2006
    [000233.html]





    Web Browser Access

    “When I access the LINKS website, the webpage doesn’t seem to load completely. There are no visible buttons or links to access the resources on the LINKS website. Can you help?”

    Access to the LINKS website requires a Java-enabled web browser. Otherwise, none of the Java-applet buttons will appear on your browser screen and you'll be unable to access any LINKS resources.

    Apparently, your web browser is not enabled for Java on the PC that you used to access the LINKS website. Please consult your local information technology guru for assistance in enabling Java in your internet browser. Alternatively, you might use another PC to access the LINKS website, one with a web browser that is Java-enabled.

    Within a LINKS exercise, you'll normally access the LINKS website on a regular basis, but only for short periods of time. Thus, the alternative of using another Java-enabled PC for your LINKS website access might be a viable strategy for you throughout your LINKS exercise, rather than adding Java-enablement to your PC’s web browser.

    revised 10/28/2004
    [000197.html]





    Web-Server Status

    “The LINKS web-server is down; I can't access it. What do I do?”

    Web-servers can and do go down. But, the LINKS-simulations.com web-hosting service has an excellent record of performance. And, our experience is that it's more often the connection from the user IP that's at fault rather than the web-server. Remember, there are three parts to connecting to a web-server: (1) the outbound connection from the user's PC; (2) internet traffic flow from the user's PC to the website; and, (3) the web-server itself.

    With 2,500+ current students involved with LINKS and assuming an average of 10 connections per week per student, 25,000+ connections occur with about 3-5 reported connection problems per week. This is way less than 0.01% ... which is excellent web-server service.

    So, advice to LINKS users is to plan ahead and don't wait until the last minute to make input changes in the LINKS Simulation Database ... just in case. And, please try back again in an hour or so if you have trouble accessing the LINKS Simulations web-server.

    revised 09/12/2013
    [000243.html]





    Word Formatting of LINKS Results File

    “When I access a LINKS Word doc results file, the formatted document (i.e., margins) is hard to read due to the line wrapping. I find that I must re-set the left and right margins to make the results file document readable. Can you help with this?”

    Margins are set within your local version of Microsoft Word.

    To improve readibility of Word doc results files, you may need to change the left- and right-margins to 0.9 inches and change the document's font to a fixed pitch like 10-point Courier or Courier New. If necessary, consult your local IT guru to make this default-margin change permanent within your Microsoft Word version on your local personal computer.

    revised 12/19/2010
    [000179.html]
    listed under "Financial and Operating Reports"
    listed under "LINKS Simulation Database"
    listed under "Website"




  • LINKS® is a registered trademark of Randall G Chapman. All rights reserved.               Copyright © 2004-2018 by Randall G Chapman. All rights reserved.