Flexibility & Modularity

Some 800+ parameters indicating "the nature of the global environment," and an even greater number of "state variables" indicating the condition of company financial statements, marketing research and other outputs, are embedded in the Master Program. The flexibility of INTOPIA is manifested by the fact that at least 90 percent of the parameters may be changed at will by the Facilitator, such as currency values, demand and production factors for all 10 patented models of each of the two products, market size in operating areas. In addition, the Custom version of B2B permits change of the names and characteristics of such basics as geographical areas, currencies, and products.

State variables subject to facilitator intervention are illustrated by changes in the relative capabilities of individual companies to market specific products in specific areas, or additions to the capital stock of companies, or, indeed, the introduction of new companies (such as joint ventures).

Flexibility may be further enhanced by the facilitator introducing "outside" (e.g., Japanese) sources of supply or competition, or large-scale institutional buyers of chips (e.g., telecom and auto industries) and PCs (e.g., school systems, defense departments).

Modularity was illustrated by the possibility of confining company operations to a single region in discussing simplification of INTOPIA. It is also easy to emphasize one function by deemphasizing another. In a marketing course the facilitator may supply one (or both) products by making it (them) available on a volume discount schedule, obviating the need for manufacturing management. In an operations course, s/he may instead use such a schedule to represent the market, while participants focus their attention on production. The finance function may be emphasized (or deemphasized) by giving more (or less) focus on currency management, and so on.
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Flexibility & Modularity
General Simplification
Itemized Simplification