Severn's second chance

Management Challenge 1995
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SEVERN Trent Water has moved a stage closer to repeating its success in last year's management game run by the Independent on Sunday with sponsorship from National Westminster Bank by making this year's final, writes Roger Trapp.

Severn Trent Water, which is bidding for another pounds 10,000 cash prize and the chance to improve on its performance in the last European contest, achieved the best share price of the semi-final - 1.41 ecus.

At the national final of the Independent Management Challenge, to be held at a London hotel later this month, the team will have the advantage of experience, because none of the challengers has progressed this far before. The other three teams are BPP Courses of London, which achieved a share price of 1.22 ecus; Borg, a non-affiliated team of two from Birmingham, with a 1.29 ecu share price; and It's Good to Talk, representing BT Laboratories of Ipswich, with 1.16 ecus.

Although Martin Luck and Chris Elliot of Borg had a close battle with Deja Vu of Croydon, the margins in the semi-finals were mostly wide. Many of the 20 semi-finalists found the tough economic conditions too much for them and ended the round with share prices down from the opening position of 1.19 ecus.

The challenge is based on a computer simulation devised by Edit 515 of Edinburgh.

As with a genuine company, performance is measured by share price, which can be moved up or down according to decisions made by the teams in response to the conditions created by the computer. In this round, progress has been checked largely by the tough world economic situation.