About

15 Years Ago, when the world was ‘black-and-white’, and logistics was all about physical flows, Maarten van Rijn and Leo Kemps, (both lectueres in Logistics at NHTV (former BUAS)) had a training in ‘optimizing business processes with the help of digital systems’. 


Maarten,  former ‘gymnastiek docent’ and Leo Kemps, a ‘bedrijfseconoom’, where totally triggered.

They had a vision of a world where physical flows, information flows and financial flows perfectly flowed together through the whole supply chain, from raw materials all the way to the (happy) customer, and back.


But how to engage the future logisticans’ in their learning to understand, experience and enhance this?

It became their goal to (re)design the education to reach this.

 

Maarten, who is also a professional hockey player/trainer, believed in learning by doing. Playing a game, with tactics, hard (team) work and experiencing (hours of practice) could be the perfect means to achieve their goals.


He had a vision of a real-life-simulation game, when students are able to experience the  end-to-end processes in the supply chain….Selling products, running around, from Supplier a raw materials to their factories. Producing this products, that they could deliveres to their customers in time and in full. Experiencing the compleity of all the financial flows (liquidity, internal and external results), and the supporting information flows (all kind of documents like orders, invoices, administration) that made the supply chain run smootly.  


Blokko was Born. 


The Blokko-game was actively designed for first year students at NHTV (former name of BUAS)…and was a direct hit!

 

In the first three hours of ‘simulation’ that was played, students were running around in the building as of their lifes depended on it.  They saw students experiencing, experimenting and ‘playing’ with all the forces within the supplychain.

And they were having fun!


Where Blokko started out as a pure ‘physical’ game with gamerules, Maarten devoted himself to upgrade in the years to come:

Game rules were adapted, challenges where added, but most of all: The ‘digital’ world of informatioflows became bigger and bigger part of the game

 

The ‘Blokko’ project became the ‘paradepaardje’ of the education: This was where learning was visible!

You can ask any alumni of the Logistics-education of NHTV, and they will all agree:

‘Blokko is the most learnfull experience I have had during my study’.

 

In the years ahead, new systems were introduced. From smart ways to measure performances during the simulation game (how ‘happy’ is the customer?), to an automated system that creates ordersets, connects the supplier and customer directly in the game. The goal was to give the players insights in their actual performance..so their could learn and improve!

It all started with simple ‘Excel’ documents, Paper document Flows, but soon it involved to a full eco-system.

 

In the last few years the world of SupplyChains becoame all about new emerging digital  technologies. Blockchain, Big Data, Cloud Solutions, Digital Twins, just some buzzwords that are on top of mind in boardrooms nowadays. 


Learning has changed, it does not only happen within a classroom during a study, but it happens lifelong. Before, during and after a study. The connection between universities, the industry and research has become stronger than ever..and We all want to learn!

 

Research shows that also the ‘way’ of learning also changed: From ‘passive’ listening, practicing theory and a final ‘test’ that checkes if you remember, , it changed to experiementing, experiencing and making ‘mistakes  to learn’ has become the new standard.

Learning communities, where everybody wins, became central.

 

For that, the Blokko project evolved to a complete, digital ‘ecosystem’ game, a kind of ‘heavens playground’ to play….Apollo has born!

 

Apollo is more then just a game. It is a place where the  mechanics, dynamics and esteatics of the real world are simulated. Where students, teachers, researchers but also the industry can experience and expiriment in both a physical and a digital way.

 

It is a complete gamesystem, with two parts:

1) A ‘passive’ website that explains all gamerules, game details and the proces of learning

2) A fully digital ‘ecosystem’ that simulates the end-to-end-processes- and events – happening in a supply chain. 

In this system an enourmous amount of data is collected – before and during and after –  the actual simulationgame. With this data insight is given to the players, but also new knowledge is derived. What consequences have what impact on the supply chain? No game will be the same, it is a combination of all players that makes the outcome!

It makes the learning visible!

 

But most of all:

It activates students, teachers, researchers and the industry to become activated, to push themselves. Not to create a ‘paper’ truth…but to experiement in real life. To learn by making mistakes, and to see what we all learn from that! 

 

Activated learning, together, is what thrives this game.


We, as developers of this game are therefore never finished. Gaining new insight everytime the game is played, we will be able to refine the game every day. Based on the needs from our students, our industry partners and all development in the world.