The Independent Management Game 1994: Contest entrants in early success

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The Independent Online
TWO-THIRDS of the teams playing the Independent Management Game have improved the share price of their companies in the early stages of the competition, sponsored by National Westminster Bank. One company has lifted its shares from ecu 1.119 to ecu 1.309, and several others have achieved rises to more than ecu 1.2, writes Roger Trapp .

Some of the teams that have been less successful have adopted aggressive marketing policies without fully understanding the basic patterns of the highly seasonal sector. Consequently, sales forecasting has often been poor, according to Bill Robertson of organisers Edit 515.

One or two teams have speculated that material prices will rise and/or that the US dollar - in which materials are traded - will rise in value. While this may work in the long term, it increases borrowings and reduces liquidity in the short term.

The most successful teams so far have learned from the experience of the previous management - which presided over a fall in net assets and a reduction in shareholders' funds - and decided on a more cautious policy.

The 62 teams, ranging from bankers and building society staff to employees of the electronics group Motorola and British Telecom, will soon be breaking for a summer recess before renewing their drive to reach the final in November.

The Independent on Sunday will be tracking their progress in more detail and following the performance of the winner in next year's European contest. The winner of the domestic competition receives pounds 10,000, and pounds 5,000 in cash prizes will go to the runners-up.

The game simulates the operation of a small to medium- sized enterprise making consumer goods for sale throughout the world.

Competition in the market comes from the other teams taking part and computer simulation. The marketing is controlled through pricing, advertising, product quality and design and by the activities of the sales forces, agents and distributors.

Any organisation or group of individuals keen to take part in next year's management competition should apply to Richard Doggart at Quintus Group, 535 Kings Road, London SW10 0SZ.