The Food Industry Management Simulation, or FIMSIM, is a realistic decision-making program created specifically for the food industry, designed to help students learn the specifics of managing a chain.
It involves over 10,000 linear and curvilinear equations in calculating the simulation and the effect competing companies will have on the marketplace and on each other.
Students are divided into teams of three to five members that acquire and operate supermarket chains that compete in the fictitious city of Fimville over a four-month period.
FIMSIM is designed so teams that coordinate their external strategy with their internal organization will be successful. Success depends on the joint efforts of team members to analyze the marketplace; anticipate the actions of competitors; reach a consensus on what ads and promotions to run; determine their pricing; forecast sales for all departments; order the correct amount of products; and schedule labor properly within the departments and at the front-end.
Teams are given a limited amount of financial information about their company, and armed with that information, combined with their own experience and judgment, they must make 40 key decisions each week — 21 strategic decisions that determine how successful the company will be and 19 organizational decisions that determine how effectively the business is organized and managed.
The combined decisions of all teams are then entered into the FIMSIM computer model to determine their impact on the marketplace and on each other. Each team then receives operating and income statements on its performance that helps it make 40 more decisions the following week.
The program is designed to help participants gain an insight and sensitivity into the complexities of the supermarket business, with time compressed and several months of business conducted in days. The feedback from their actions is immediate, and participants see the consequences of their decisions quickly.