Ein Teilnehmer am MARGA Planspiel analysiert den Marktforschungsbericht

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As part of the international Hettich network program “Junior Action”, the “Juniors” work on interdisciplinary projects every year. A special project offered in 2015 was participation in the MARGA business game. We – Benjamin Bextermöller (Development), Johannes Heider (Sales), Peter Leist (Purchasing), Stella Nolte (Category Management), Sudeep Sebastian (IT) and Thomas Wäschebach (Measurement Technology) – were immediately interested and decided to take part in the simulation as a team.

We used the time leading up to the start of the MARGA business game to read the instructional letters and manuals provided. We also asked Hettich teams who had taken part in the simulation in the past about their experiences. On April, we finally got started. First of all, we were able to try out in a test round what consequences our decisions and those of our opponents would have on our own company value.

This knowledge should help us to make the right decisions in the qualifying rounds. Throughout the simulation, we met at least once a week to discuss our strategy and make decisions together. Although the majority of our team works within a radius of 30 km, all communication was conducted in English due to our team member Sudeep Sebastian from India.

Ein Teilnehmer am MARGA Planspiel analysiert den Marktforschungsbericht

Qualifying round I

After supposedly good preparation and the knowledge gained in the test round, we thought we were ready for the qualifying rounds. However, disillusionment set in after the first period in the first qualifying round: 4th place out of 4 and therefore last in our group!
last place in our group!

We then radically revised our strategy and decided on a more aggressive approach in order to achieve our goal of being the company with the largest market share.

Schreibtisch, auf dem Dokumente liegen und drei Personen arbeiten

Our strategy was successful. We surprised our competitors to such an extent that we immediately took first place in the group and then successfully defended it. We had thus won the first qualifying round in the group.

Our decision-making was based on MARGA’s market research report and an analysis tool we developed ourselves, which mapped and evaluated the decisions of all market participants. This enabled us to understand which products in which markets still required optimization and in which areas we had already made the right decisions.

Qualifying round II

In the second qualifying round, the groups were reshuffled. We quickly realized that we couldn’t continue our strategy from the first qualifying round against the new competitors without restrictions. We therefore had to come up with a new strategy in order to progress to the final. The prerequisite for participation in the MARGA final played a decisive role here: “Simply” coming first in the group was no longer enough. It quickly became clear that five teams would probably win both qualifying rounds.

To make it to the final, the total company value across all rounds and periods also counted. We therefore had to generate a particularly high company value. To do this, we gradually deviated from our radical displacement tactics and instead analyzed in detail which market shares per product were the most profitable. After the last period of the second qualifying round, we had made it: we had qualified for the final at Schloss Gracht!

Ein Team arbeitet konzentriert zusammen


In the final round, three periods were played online and two periods on site at Schloss Gracht in Erftstadt. Our competitors in the final had it all: there were also international teams from Continental Reifen Deutschland GmbH, Robert Bosch GmbH and Volkswagen AG.
Bosch GmbH and Volkswagen AG.

In the two periods that were played at Schloss Gracht, we were confronted with an intensified game situation: Instead of 2 weeks between the deadlines of the respective period, as we were used to before, we only had 1.5 hours each on the final day to analyze the results of the previous period and make the necessary decisions for the next period.

This was a huge challenge. We therefore had to prepare well. Firstly, we practiced a round in advance under time pressure, and secondly, we prepared our analysis tools accordingly. We also planned the last two periods of the final as precisely as possible in advance so that only minor adjustments to the decision parameters had to be made on the final day.

Things went extremely well on the final day and we worked well together. However, due to the strong competition, only a small lead after the penultimate period and a change in raw material prices for the final period by the game management, we could not be sure until the very end.

After submitting the final decision parameters and a subsequent lively exchange with the other teams, we were invited to a gala dinner. The time between submitting the final decision and the award ceremony seemed like an eternity due to the uncertainty. We finally wanted to know: Did we win or not?

In bet-that-manner, an exciting resolution of the final results began. We and our Junior Action colleagues, who had been cheering the whole time, were overjoyed when Dr. Christoph Heinen (MARGA) relieved us and congratulated us on winning the MARGA final.

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