Business competency simulation round 1

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Business Competency Simulation

Complete Round 1: Capstone 

Complete Round 1: CompXM


Username and Password will be given once bid is accepted.

Comp-XM Overview

As the Comp-XM exam is time consuming, it is self-paced. It was designed to access knowledge gained within the simulation. Below you can find an overview of the exam.

Comp-XM Roadmap

The hours listed below depict the average amount of time it takes to complete each round.


· Begins with the takeover of a strong company – not every company begins at the same place

· Evaluated using the balanced scorecard

· Four rounds of decision makin:

Round 1 – Week 3-4

Round 2 – Week 4-5

Round 3 – Week 7-8

Round 4 – Week 8-9

· Competing against three computer-based teams

· Four market segments:


1. Thrift

2. Core

3. Nano

4. Elite

Board Queries (Multiple Choice Questions)

· Five rounds of questions

· Based upon Comp-XM Inquirer – linked to the exam simulation

How to prepare

1. If you or your team decides to introduce a new sensor product, when should capacity and automation be purchased?

1. Two years or rounds prior to product release

2. One round prior to product release

3. The round of product release

4. The round after product release

5. Purchase of capacity and automation is not necessary for new product release

2. The promotion budget affects:

1. awareness

2. brand equity

3. performance

4. size

5. none of the above

3. What is the minimum amount of time that it takes to invent a new sensor?

1. 3 months

2. 6 months

3. 1 year at least

4. 2 years at least

5. 5 years or more

4. Which one of the following is NOT one of the four product characteristics that R&D can set?

1. performance

2. quality

3. size

4. reliability

5. age

5. The Finance Department can use which of the following methods to acquire capital for company activities?

1. Current Debt, Stock Issues, Bond Issues and Profits

2. Profits, Current Debt, Withholding Pensions and Stock Issues

3. Liquidating Inventory, Stock Issues, Bond Issues and Profits

4. Credit Lines, Bond issues, Stock Issues and Profits

5. Current Debt, Stock Issues, Bond Issues and cooking the books

6. How can assembly lines double their capacity?

1. Speed up the production by automating

2. Add a second shift

3. Double the material available to the line

4. Build more assembly lines

Assembly line capacities can not be doubled




USA & Canada

Outside USA & Canada




Welcome to Comp-XM

Table of Contents

1 Introduction . . . . . . 1

2 Scoring . . . . . . . 2

2.1 Board Queries . . . . . 2

2.2 Balanced Scorecard . . . . 2

3 Decision Summaries . . . . 2

3.1 Research & Development . . . 2

3.2 Marketing . . . . . . 3

3.3 Production . . . . . 3

3.4 Finance . . . . . . 3

3.5 Human Resources . . . . 3

3.6 Human Resources Entries . . . 4

3.7 TQM/Sustainability . . . . 4

Your Registration Number

If your instructor or school did not give you a
Registration Number, you will need to register
online using a credit card or checking account.

Welcome to Comp-XM®, an integrated evaluation tool that will allow
you to demonstrate your business skills. Comp-XM has two sections:
1. A business simulation similar to the one you just completed and
2. A series of quizzes, called Board Queries, that ask questions
related to your simulation environment.

The Simulation

You are the CEO of a new company, the
Andrews Corporation. You will make four
sets of decisions. Your competition, Baldwin,
Chester and Digby, are run by computers.
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all participants go up against a standard
set of competitors. As with your previous
simulation, the quality of your decisions
directly affects the position of your company.
Performance is evaluated using a Balanced
Scorecard, an analysis technique that gauges
results across four areas.
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Board Queries

Board Queries are web-based quizzes that relate
directly to the results of your simulation. As CEO, you
will report to the Board of Directors. The Board

that are based on the results of your previous rounds.
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a break-even analysis on an increase in production
automation or calculate the effect additional
questions use standard true-false, multiple choice
and essay formats.

All the information needed to answer the queries
appears within the pages of The Comp-XM Inquirer,
an industry newsletter similar to The Capstone®

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you work as an individual, which means all success
will be attributed to your efforts. This is your chance
to show your strategic vision, tactical abilities and
business knowledge. Best of luck!

4 Industry Conditions Report . . 5

4.1 Market Segments . . . . 5

4.2 Growth Rates . . . . . 6

4.3 Rough Cut / Fine Cut . . . 6

4.4 Seller’s Market . . . . . 8

5 Reports . . . . . . . 8

6 Website Instructions . . . . 8

6.1 The Comp-XM Spreadsheet . . 8

6.2 Dashboard . . . . . 8

6.3 Answering Board Queries . . . 9

6.4 Round Schedules . . . . 9

6.5 Self-Paced Exams . . . . 10

Round 1

Round 2

Round 3

Round 4


Differences From Your Previous Simulation


1 Introduction

You have just been recruited to head the Andrews Corporation’s
newest spin-off, the Andrews Comp-XM Corporation. The unit
concentrates Andrews’ biometric sensor efforts into a new, publicly
traded company.

1.1 What Is Comp-XM?

Comp-XM is familiar, yet different from your experience in Capstone
or Foundation. You are the CEO. You will be making decisions on
your own; you will not be a member of a team. Like Capstone or
Foundation, Comp-XM uses a spreadsheet and a web interface.
“6 Website Instructions” discusses the mechanics.

There are two parts to Comp-XM: A four-round simulation, and a
series of web-based quizzes called Board Queries. Board Queries are
questions posed by your Board of Directors. They are drawn from the
unique results of your simulation. You could appear before the Board
up to five times to answer their questions about your company.

Comp-XM Inquirer and Industry Conditions
All the information needed to answer the questions appears within
the pages of The Comp-XM Inquirer, an industry newsletter that is
similar to The Capstone Courier or The Foundation FastTrack.
“4 Industry Conditions Report” summarizes the current state of the
biometric market.

1.2 Workflow

Comp-XM has four decision rounds. Each round, you will enter a set
of decisions via the Comp-XM Spreadsheet.

In the standard Comp-XM setup, each round you will also answer the
Board Queries posed by the board of directors. At the end of the
simulation, you will answer a fifth set of Board Queries, but no

decisions will be required (Table 1.1). Decisions and Board Queries
require the Comp-XM Inquirer.

Table 1.1 Standard Comp-XM Schedule

Round Activities Material Needed

1 Round 1 Decisions
Board Query 1

Round 0 Comp-XM Inquirer 

2 Round 2 Decisions
Board Query 2

Round 1 Comp-XM Inquirer

3 Round 3 Decisions
Board Query 3

Round 2 Comp-XM Inquirer

4 Round 4 Decisions
Board Query 4

Round 3 Comp-XM Inquirer

Final No Decisions
Final Board Query

Round 4 Comp-XM Inquirer

Your instructor can configure Comp-XM to have fewer

Board Queries.

1.3 Differences From Your
Previous Simulation

Comp-XM has four market segments:

• Thrift
• Core
• Nano
• Elite

Comp-XM TQM (Total Quality Management)/Sustainability and
Human Resources Modules are active in Round 1.

The segment circles start the simulation in the middle of the
Perceptual Map before drifting to the lower right (Figure 1.1 –
Figure 1.3).

Figure 1.1 Segment Positions at the End
of Round 0 and the Beginning of Round 1

Figure 1.2 Segment Positions at the End
of Round 2 and the Beginning of Round 3

Figure 1.3 Segment Positions at the End
of Round 4

Example! See your Industry Conditions Report for exact segment locations.

Board Queries


3 Decision Summaries

Decision entries are made with the Comp-XM Spreadsheet, which is
similar to the Capstone Spreadsheet and the Foundation Spreadsheet.
Please refer to your Capstone or Foundation Team Member Guide for
general information.

All Comp-XM simulations utilize the Human Resources and TQM
(Total Quality Management)/Sustainability modules. Decisions made
in these modules can have wide ranging effects, including influencing
product demand, R&D cycle times, productivity, material costs, labor
costs and administrative costs.

TQM and Human Resource drive the Learning and Growth section of
the Balanced Scorecard.

Human Resources decisions are made in two locations:

• The Workforce Complement is entered at the bottom of the
Production area;

• Recruit Spend and Training decisions are made in the
Human Resources area.

All TQM/Sustainability decisions are made in the TQM/
Sustainability area.

3.1 Research & Development

3.1.1 Positioning Costs
Material costs are also driven by positioning (Figure 3.1). The higher
the technology, the higher the cost. At the beginning of the
simulation, the trailing edge of the Thrift segment has the lowest cost,
at $1.00; the leading edge of the Nano and Elite segments have the

2 Scoring

Scoring occurs in two parts, the results of your Board Queries, and
the results of your simulation, which are assessed via a Balanced

Comp-XM has 1000 possible points, 500 for your Board Query results
and 500 for your Balanced Scorecard.

2.1 Board Queries

Board Queries are unique to each participant, although each
question covers the same content. If a question applies to a
product, the question might be posed about any of the products
in the simulation.

Each simulation generates different numbers, so each question
containing numbers varies by participant. Furthermore,
product names and competitor assignments vary from participant
to participant.

Here’s an example of a Comp-XM Board Query: You are asked

to find the Net Margin for product Biff. Your classmate is

asked to find the Net Margin for product Bold.

Both questions have the same level of difficulty, but the

answers are based on different numbers.

2.2 Balanced Scorecard

Comp-XM uses a Balanced Scorecard for simulation scoring. A
Balanced Scorecard is a common analysis technique that allows
companies to gauge their current performance and formulate future
goals. Balanced Scorecards are divided into four areas:

• Financial
• Internal Business Process
• Customer
• Learning and Growth

Each Comp-XM Scorecard is built from criteria which are assigned a
weight– a level of importance. Criteria, weights and results for each
round, and criteria, weights and results for a final overall scorecard,
are available from the Dashboard.

As you enter decisions in the Comp-XM Spreadsheet, projections of
the Balanced Scorecard results for the upcoming year are available
via the proforma menu. Scores from previous years are available on
the website; login to your simulation then click the Results/
Scorecards link.


Figure 3.1 Material Positioning Costs: These costs vary depend-
ing on the product’s relative location on the perceptual map. For
example, at the start of Round 1, products placed at the trailing
edge of the Thrift segment would have a positioning component
cost of $1.00; products placed at the leading edge of the two high
technology segments would have a positioning component cost of
$9.25. Material component costs drop 3% to 4% per year.

Human Resources


Comp-XM uses a straight line depreciation method calculated

over fifteen years.

3.3.3 Second Shift/Overtime
Labor costs increase 50% when a second shift is hired or when the
first shift works overtime.

3.3.4 Automation
Increasing automation has a linear effect on labor costs. Between an
automation of 1.0 (lowest) to 10.0 (highest), labor costs fall
approximately 10% for each point of automation.

3.4 Finance

3.4.1 Stock
Stock issues are limited to 20% of the company’s outstanding shares.
You pay a 5% brokerage fee to issue stock.

3.4.2 Current Debt
These are one year bank notes. Bankers will loan current debt up to
about 75% of your accounts receivable (found on last year’s balance
sheet) and 50% of this year’s inventory. They estimate your inventory
for the upcoming year by examining last year’s income statement.
Bankers assume your worst case scenario will leave a three to four
month inventory, and they will loan you up to 50% of that amount.
This works out to be about 15% of the combined value of last year’s
total direct labor and total direct material, which display on the
income statement.

There is no brokerage fee for current debt.

3.4.3 Bonds
These 10 year notes carry an interest rate 1.4% higher than the
current debt rate in the year they were issued. Bondholders are
willing to lend amounts up to 80% of the depreciated value of the
company’s plant and equipment, that is, the assembly lines. You pay a
5% brokerage fee to issue bonds.

Companies with better Bond Ratings have lower

interest rates.

If your company runs out of cash, you will receive an

emergency loan, which carries a 7.5% penalty above the

Current Debt interest rate. Emergency loans convert to

Current Debt in the following year.

3.5 Human Resources

3.5.1 Recruiting
Investing in recruiting a better quality employee increases
productivity and decreases turnover, which will reduce your labor

highest costs, at $9.25. Positioning material costs decrease 3% to 4%
per year.

3.1.2 MTBF (Mean Time Before Failure)
Each 1,000 hours of reliability (MTBF) adds $0.30 to the material
cost. A product with 20,000 hours reliability includes $0.30 *
20,000/1000 = $6.00 in reliability costs.

3.2 Marketing

3.2.1 Promotion Budget
Promotion expenditures reach diminishing returns at $3,000,000 for
each product. Promotion buys awareness. You lose one third of your
old awareness each year. Your promotion budget replaces lost
awareness, and if the budget is high enough, makes gains towards
100% awareness. When a product reaches 100% awareness,
promotion budgets of about $1,400,000 are needed to maintain it.

3.2.2 Sales Budget
Sales budgets buy segment accessibility. Although you budget by
product, any product within the segment’s fine cut contributes to
accessibility. Diminishing returns are reached at a budget of
$3,000,000 for each product. Diminishing returns in the segment,
however, are not reached until $4,500,000. You need at least two
products in the segment’s fine cut to reach 100% accessibility. You
lose one third of your old accessibility each year. Your sales budgets
replace lost accessibility, and if the budgets are high enough, make
gains towards 100% accessibility. When a segment reaches 100%
accessibility, sales budgets of about $3,300,000 are needed to
maintain it.

Sales budgets also allocate the time spent by the sales force selling
the product. The higher the budget, the more time the sales force
gives to the product. This can be useful if you wish to emphasize one
product over another within the same segment. For example, if you
are splitting a combined $4,000,000 sales budget between two
products, you might spend $3,000,000 with one and $1,000,000
with the other. Your salespeople would emphasize one product over
the other.

3.3 Production

3.3.1 Plant Purchases
Floor space for each unit of capacity is $6.00. Add $4.00 for each
point of automation. Additional capacity at an automation rating of
10.0 would cost $6.00 + ($4.00 * 10.0) = $46.00 per unit.

3.3.2 Plant Sales
When you sell plant, you get $0.65 on each original dollar. Depending
on the depreciated value of the plant, you could make a gain or a loss
on the sale which will appear as a gain or loss on the income

Human Resources Entries


3.7 TQM/Sustainability

The TQM (Total Quality Management)/Sustainability Module allows
companies to invest in several initiatives. Different initiatives return
different benefits. For example, some initiatives will reduce labor and
material costs, others will reduce R&D cycle time (allowing you to
re-engineer products faster), and others will increase product
appeal or decrease administration costs. You don’t have to invest
in all initiatives.

Differentiators might want to reduce R&D cycle times, to ensure their
products are newer and better positioned. Cost leaders might want to
reduce material and labor costs, allowing them to reduce prices
while maintaining their margins.

The return on investment follows an S-curve (Figure 3.2). If you
spend too little or too much the returns on your investment are poor.
If you spend less than $500,000 in any initiative in a single round
chances are you will see little return. An investment of $1,500,000 in
a single round
produces a
investments over
become dollar for
dollar less
effective. Finally,
for each initiative,
an investment over
$2,000,000 in a
single round
absolutely no
additional benefit.

For each impact, complementary initiatives combine together to
increase the total effect. You should bundle your investments in
multiple initiatives that have an impact important to your company’s
strategy. By spreading your investment among complementary
initiatives you can invest more in each impact than the limit of
$2,000,000 for an individual initiative. For example, to reduce
material costs, companies should consider investing in both CPI
Systems and GEMI TQEM Sustainability.

Aggressive spending in each initiative would involve spending
$1,500,000 in year 1, $1,500,000 in year 2, and $1,000,000 in year 3.

The Best Case/Worst case table gives an indication of the return on
investment. The impact is cumulative so cost reductions will continue
in future years.

Refer to the flags on the TQM/Sustainability spreadsheet for a
thorough discussion of TQM/Sustainability entries.


and HR Admin costs. The effect of investing in recruitment is
cumulative. You can spend up to $5,000 per person to hire better
talent. The amount is added to the automatic recruitment charge of
$1,000 for every new employee.

3.5.2 Training
Investing in training also increases productivity and decreases
turnover. Each year, you can assign up to 80 hours of training per
employee, which increases productivity. Each training hour costs
$20.00. When employees are in training they are replaced with other
employees, so the Needed Complement will increase as training
hours increase. The effect of investing in training is cumulative.

3.6 Human Resources Entries

Workforce Complement entries are made in the Production area.

Workforce Complement controls the number of workers employed by
the company. Once production schedules are complete, the
spreadsheet will display a Needed Complement. Matching the
Workforce Complement to the Needed Complement ensures the
company will have sufficient workers.

Having more workers than needed drives up labor costs as workers
stand around doing nothing. Having fewer workers than needed
results in worker overtime, which cuts into the efficiency of the
workforce. Having significantly fewer workers than necessary will
result in serious production shortfalls because labor will not be
available to manufacture the sensors.

Always review the Workforce Complement entry at the

bottom of the Production area after making changes to the

Production Schedule, Training Hours or TQM/Sustainability

initiatives. Serious financial consequences can result if the

Workforce Complement is too low or too high.

Recruit Spend and Training Hour entries are made in the Human
Resources area.

Recruit Spend allows the company to attract a higher caliber worker,
which will increase the efficiency of the workforce as measured by
the Productivity Index.

Training Hours will also increase efficiency. However Training Hours
increase the Needed Complement because workers are in the
classroom, not on the production lines.

Investments in Recruiting and Training raise your Productivity Index,
which in turn lowers your per unit labor costs. Scheduling overtime
reduces any gains to the Productivity Index. The Productivity Index
cannot go below 100%. Refer to the red flags on the Production and
Human Resources spreadsheets, which activate pop-up explanation
windows, for a thorough discussion of Human Resources entries.

Figure 3.2 S-Shaped Curve

Market Segments


4 Industry Conditions Report

In the next four years, the biometric sensor market will see a 59%
increase in unit demand. Growth rates vary among the four market
segments – Thrift, Core, Nano, and Elite.

The biometric sensor industry is a fast growing sector of the larger
sensor industry:

• Andrews Comp-XM Corporation has three competitors,
biometric business units of Baldwin, Chester, and Digby
Corporations– these companies have well established
strategic directions;

• There are four segments;
• There are no labor unions but there are opportunities to

invest in Human Resources;
• Some companies have been investing in TQM (Total Quality


As CEO you will be responsible for the strategic direction of the
Andrews Comp-XM business unit and its tactical execution.

At the beginning of every year, the board of directors will ask you to
respond to a set of questions about your situation. The questions will
be drawn from recent activities within the industry as described in
last year’s results and from the situation that you expect to develop
over the next year.

After satisfying the board’s questions, you will execute your plan by
making operational decisions in Research & Development (R&D),
Marketing, Production, Human Resources, TQM/Sustainability and
Finance. Your results will be assessed with a Balanced Scorecard.

4.1 Market Segments

The biometric sensor market evolved from two original markets, a
low technology segment and a high technology segment. The original
low tech segment split into Thrift and Core. The original high tech
segment split into Nano and Elite. Because of this evolution, the
segments are less distinct than the segments in your former business.
Straddling two segments with a product is still viable, although you
can expect straddling to become more difficult as the market evolves
(see Figures 1.1 – 1.3).

Each market segment expects different:

• Positioning
• Age
• Price
• MTBF (Mean Time Before Failure)

Price, Age and MTBF ranges for each segment hold steady

year after year. Positioning expectations advance steadily

every month.

Thrift Segment Criteria
Thrift customers seek proven products, are indifferent to
technological sophistication and are price motivated:

• Price, $14.00-$26.00– importance: 55%
• MTBF, 14,000-20,000– importance: 20%
• Ideal Position at the end of Round 0,

(See Industry Conditions Report) – importance: 15%
• Age, 3 years– importance: 10%

Age 10%

Positioning 15%

MTBF 20%

Price 55%

Figure 4.1 Thrift Segment Buying Criteria

Core Segment Criteria
Core customers seek proven products using current technology:

• Price, $20.00-$32.00– importance: 46%
• Age, 2 years– importance: 20%
• MTBF, 16,000-22,000– importance: 18%
• Ideal Position at the end of Round 0,

(See Industry Conditions Report) – importance: 16%

Age 20%

Positioning 16%

MTBF 18%
Price 46%

Figure 4.2 Core Segment Buying Criteria

Age 20%

Positioning 35%

MTBF 18%

Price 27%

Nano Segment Criteria
Nano customers seek cutting-edge technology that is small in size:

• Ideal Position at the end of Round 0,
(See Industry Conditions Report) – importance: 35%

• Price, $28.00-$40.00– importance: 27%
• Age, 1 year– importance: 20%
• MTBF, 18,000-24,000– importance: 18%

Figure 4.3 Nano Segment Buying Criteria

Growth Rates


4.3 Rough Cut / Fine Cut

Positioning Price, and Reliability work the same as they did at your
last company. The segments drift every year. Rough cut and fine cut
criteria still hold true for the Comp-XM industry. Your product
designs must meet at least the rough cut criteria before earning sales.

4.3.1 Segment Locations
As is in the larger sensor industry, the market segments in the
Comp-XM industry move to the lower right. The outer rough cut
circles measure 4.0 units; the inner fine cut circles measure 2.5 units.
The segment centers for each round are listed in Table 4.3.

4.3.2 Price
Price ranges in each segment have held steady for the past four years
and will continue to do so for the next four years (Table 4.4).

Customers want the price of their product to lie within the expected
range. As the price moves outside the expected range, demand for the
product begins to fall. For each dollar outside the range, demand
falls 16.7%. When price reaches $6.00 outside the range, demand
reaches zero.

4.2 Growth Rates

Growth rates differ among the segments. Thrift and Core are growing
at a slower pace, 11.0% and 10.0%, than Nano and Elite, 14.0% and
16.0% (Figure 4.5).

In the next four years, Thrift’s and Core’s percentage of the overall
market will decline. Today, the number of units sold to the Nano
segment is greater than those sold to the Elite segment (Table 4.1).

However, in four years, Elite’s unit sales will exceed Nano’s
(Table 4.2).

Segment Centers vary by exam. See the Industry Conditions

report on your exam dashboard.

Age 34%

22% MTBF 20%

Price 24%

Elite Segment Criteria
Elite customers seek high reliability and cutting edge
performance technology:

• Age, 0 years– importance: 34%
• Price, $30.00-$42.00– importance: 24%
• Ideal Position at the end of Round 0,

(See Industry Conditions Report) – importance: 22%
• MTBF, 20,000-26,000– importance: 20%

Figure 4.4 Elite Segment Buying Criteria

Table 4.1 Last Year’s Unit Demand

Thrift Core Nano Elite

27.0% 35.3% 19.3% 18.4%

Table 4.2 Unit Demand Four Years From Now

Thrift Core Nano Elite

25.8% 32.6% 20.6% 21.0%

Figure 4.5 Yearly Increase In Unit Demand

Table 4.3 Sample Segment Centers At The End Of Each Round

Coordinates Rd 0 Rd 1 Rd 2 Rd 3 Rd 4


Performance 6.5 7.0 7.5 8.0 8.5

Size 13.5 13.0 12.5 12.0 11.5


Performance 8.2 9.0 9.8 10.6 11.4

Size 11.8 11.0 10.2 9.4 8.6


Performance 9.7 10.5 11.3 12.1 12.9

Size 8.6 7.5 6.4 5.3 4.2


Performance 11.4 12.5 13.6 14.7 15.8

Size 10.3 9.5 8.7 7.9 7.1

Table 4.4 Segment Price Ranges

Minimum Maximum

Thrift $14.00 $26.00

Core $20.00 $32.00

Nano $28.00 $40.00

Elite $30.00 $42.00

Rough Cut / Fine Cut


4.3.4 Age
Customer age assessments vary from segment to segment, as shown
in Figure 4.6. All other factors held constant, demand is highest when
the age is at the ideal. For example, Core customers prefer products
that are 2 years old.

4.3.5 Ideal Spots
For each segment, customers prefer products placed near the ideal
spot, which is a position relative to the segment center (Table 4.6 and
Figure 4.7).

4.3.3 MTBF (Mean Time Before Failure)
Customers want reliability or MTBF to be within the ranges in Table
4.5. Within the range, the higher the reliability, the higher the
demand. However, above the range customers are content and award
no additional demand.

As the MTBF moves below minimum expectations, the product loses
demand. For every 1,000 hours below the range, demand drops by
16.7%. At 6000 hours below the range, demand falls to zero.

Customers are indifferent to products with MTBFs above

the guideline.

Table 4.5 Segment MTBF Ranges

Minimum Maximum

Thrift 14,000 20,000

Core 16,000 22,000

Nano 18,000 24,000

Elite 20,000 26,000

Figure 4.6 Preferred Ages: Thrift and Core customers seek out proven technology. Thrift prefers products in the three year range and Core in the two
year range. Nano and Elite customers demand the latest technology. Nano prefers products in the one year range and Elite wants cutting edge, brand
new products.

Table 4.6 Segment Ideal Spot Offsets

Performance Size

Thrift 0.0 0.0

Core +0.4 -0.4

Nano +0.8 -1.1

Elite +1.1 -0.8

Figure 4.7 Customers prefer products located in the darker areas. The darkest areas indicate the ideal spots. The inner fine cut circles
have a radius of 2.5 units, the outer rough cut circles have a radius of 4.0 units. Thrift customers prefer products located in the center of
the circle. Core customers prefer products located to the lower right of the circle center. Nano customers want products near the lower
right edge of the circle, preferring smaller size over faster performance. Elite customers want products near the lower right edge of the
circle, preferring faster performance over smaller size.

Seller’s Market


The Inquirer is different from The Capstone Courier and The

Foundation FastTrack! Please be sure to use the Inquirer as

you work on Comp-XM.

The Inquirer is available prior to and while working on your round
decisions and while answering Board Queries.


6 Website Instructions

Login to the website with the User ID and
Password from your previous simulation.
Select Comp-XM (Figure 6.1).

In the Getting Started area, view the brief
introductory video in the Welcome
section. Be sure to review the Sample Board Query in the About
Board Queries section. Go through the remaining sections.

6.1 The Comp-XM Spreadsheet

In the Getting Set Up section, download the Comp-XM Spreadsheet to
your computer (a web version of the spreadsheet is available from the
Dashboard, see below).

• You will open the Comp-XM Spreadsheet as you did the
Capstone or Foundation Spreadsheet;

• Enter the same User ID and Password you used to login to
the website;

• The Comp-XM Spreadsheet requires an Internet connection–
it retrieves your work from the website when it opens and
sends your work to the website when you save decisions.

Use your User ID and Password from your Capstone or

Foundation simulation to login to the Comp-XM Spreadsheet.

6.2 Dashboard

When you complete the Getting Started introduction, the system will
bring you to the Exam Dashboard, an area where activities and
information are accessed, including Board Queries and the web
version of the Comp-XM Spreadsheet.

4.4 Seller’s Market

In a Seller’s Market, all the good products in a segment stock out.
Desperate customers turn their attention to the remaining
undesirable products (which may even target another segment), as
long as they are within the rough cuts for price, MTBF and

Product sales are driven by the monthly Customer Survey Score (the
December score is published in The Comp-XM Inquirer segment
analysis pages). Any product with a score of 1 or more competes for
sales– the higher the score, the higher the appeal. As a product
approaches any of the rough cuts, its score falls towards 0.

Usually a product with very low appeal makes few sales. However, in a
Seller’s Market, customers will accept marginal products as long as
they fall within the rough cut limits. For example, desperate
customers with no better alternatives will buy:

• A product priced $5.99 above the price range– at $6.00
customers reach their tolerance limit and refuse to buy the

• A product with MTBF 5,999 hours below the range– at 6,000
hours below the range customers refuse to buy the product;

• A product positioned just inside the rough cut circle on the
perceptual map– outside the circle they say “no” to
the product.


5 Reports

Customer purchase and sensor company financial results are
reported in an industry newsletter, The Comp-XM Inquirer. The
Inquirer has three notable differences from your previous
industry report:

• You can only view the most recent Inquirer ;
• Your company’s annual report is accessed from the Inquirer;
• You now have access to your competitors’ annual reports.

The Inquirer is available from two locations:

• From the Comp-XM Dashboard, click the Comp-XM Inquirer
link (see “6.2 Dashboard”);

• From the Comp-XM Spreadsheet, click the Reports link in the
menu bar.

Figure 6.1

Round Schedules


questions) and a check mark if you have already entered an

Your answer is not recorded unless you click the Save

Answer button.

• Answer each question;
• You can re-select a question if you wish to change the answer.

6.4 Round Schedules

To see round schedules, click the dates in the Dashboard’s
Deadlines column.

Only the final deadline is enforced for self-paced exams.

If Comp-XM is not self-paced, the Dashboard will display:

• The date and time you can begin making simulation
decisions and answering Board Queries;

• The date and time when simulation decisions and Board
Query answers are due.

6.3 Answering Board Queries

Each round, your Board of Directors presents you with a set of
questions. You can answer these questions before, during, or after
you make decisions for your company (we recommend before):

• From the Dashboard, click the Answer Board Query button;
• A new window opens asking you to authenticate that you are

the person taking the exam– click I Agree;
• Next, a list of Board Query questions appears on the left

(Figure 6.2);
• A second link to the Inquirer is available from this window–

you will need the Inquirer to answer most Board Query

• To begin, click a question number in the column on the left
(cursor, Figure 6.2);

• The associated question will appear on the right– questions
will be either true-false, multiple choice or essay (some
multiple choice questions require more than one selection);

• You do not have to answer the Board Query questions in any
particular order– each question has a point value for correct
answers (you can receive partial credit for some types of

Figure 6.2 Board Query Input Screen

Self-Paced Exams


6.5 Self-Paced Exams

In self-paced mode, you make simulation decisions and answer
Board Queries within a time frame established by your instructor.

6.5.1 Advancing Self-Paced Exams
The Dashboard displays your progress. For example, whether
decisions have been uploaded in the current round or how many
Board Query questions have been answered.

You will not be able to advance to the next round unless you have
uploaded a set of decisions and answered at least one Board Query
question. To advance from Round 1 to Round 2:

• On the Dashboard, click the Advance to Round 2 button;
• When the new page opens, click the button to confirm that

you wish to advance to the next round.

You will not be able to change your answers or decisions for a

round once you advance to the next round (for example,

after you advance to Round 2, Board Query 1 will no longer

be available and you will be working on Decision Set 2).





Recruit Spend 3
Reliability 3, 6, 7
Research & Development (R&D) 2
Rough Cut 6


Sales Budget 3
Segment Drift 6
Segments 5, 6
Size 6
Stock 3


TQM/Sustainability 4
Training Hours 4



Age 7
Automation 3


Bonds 3


Capacity 3
Comp-XM Inquirer 8
Current Debt 3


Dashboard 10
Drift 6


Finance 3
Fine Cut 6


Human Resources 3


Ideal Spot 7


Labor Cost 3
Long Term Debt 3


Marketing 3
Market Segments 5, 6
MTBF (Mean Time Before Failure) 3, 6, 7


Performance 6
Positioning 6
Price 6
Production 3
Promotion Budget 3

Capsim Examination Guide cover design by
Ed Kang, a Graphic Design student from
Columbia College Chicago.


Copyright © 2013 Capsim Management Simulations, Inc. All rights reserved.
Capsim®, Capstone®, Foundation®, and Comp-XM® are trademarks of
Capsim Management Simulations, Inc.®

Printed in USA

  • comp-xm front cover
  • Comp-XM_page 2
  • 2013 Comp-XM TMG
  • comp-xm backpage

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