The Independent Management Game 1994: Thirty to fight it out in semis

THIRTY teams representing businesses ranging from Norwich Union, the insurance company, to Boots, the pharmaceuticals group, and Panasonic, the electronics company, will contest the semi-final of the Independent Management Game, which resumes on Tuesday after the summer break.

The contestants, including two teams from National Westminster Bank, the sponsor of the game, will be battling for a place in November's final and a chance of winning the first prize of pounds 10,000 and a place in the European competition, to be held next January.

The challenge facing the teams, now split into five groups, is to see which can produce the best performance from a simulated medium-sized manufacturing company in the face of stiff competition and a tough economic outlook.

The business will be attempting to make the best use of people, finance and plant while selling to the countries of the European Union and the United States.

Teams start off in exactly the same financial and operating position and aim to maximise their share price over the five quarters of the round, which ends on 25 October.

A total of 62 teams representing a variety of industries started earlier this year - and even those that have not reached the final stages have hailed it as a success.

The simulation, designed by the organisers of the contest, Edit 515, takes account of four main corporate functions - marketing, production, personnel and finance. But within those, there are many problems concerning such matters as research and development, quality standards and organising sales forces. Teamwork, strong communication and trust will be critical factors in tackling these problems.

As the semi-final progresses, we will be following the fortunes of two teams - a group of students backed by the Industrial Society and a team of managers from United Distillers.

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