Meaningful meetings: a dialog with the industry

Gamification and control towers:
a dialog with the industry

Yesterday, Breda University of Applied Sciences presented the results of two research projects during one of its ‘Meaningful Meetings’. After the presentations the researchers discussed the outcome with representatives of interested companies; an approach which underlines the significance the institution bestows to the relation with the trade and industry.

Research & business innovation manager Marijke Bogers of the Academy for Built environment, Logistics & Mobility opened the meeting with a word of welcome and after a brief presentation by business development manager Tom Seggers the audience was divided into two session groups; one for the research project ‘Serious gaming during work… does it work?’ the other for the research project ‘Control Towers; possibilities and where to start?’

Control Towers

Many companies feel an increasing need to cooperate, share knowledge and accumulate information about what is happening in their supply chains. According to part-time lecturer Marcel Wouterse the pace of development in the world of logistics is accelerating: “Modern logistics bare so many possibilities that nowadays it’s humans who are the restricting factor.”

A control tower (in a commonly accepted definition: ‘a hub with the required technology, organization and processes’) can make processes more efficient. But do we make optimal use of its possibilities? And is it implemented swift enough to keep up? Wouterse is pretty explicit about this: “If we don’t start taking research about this subject seriously and if we don’t provide the resulting information publicly and in a structured manner, it is probably too late.”

Fortunately, the research project DOK4CT provides a sound basis for taking up this challenge. The project, partially made possible by NWO en TKI Dinalog, shows how to gather knowledge about control towers and, thereafter, how to make it available to the public.

Gamification work processes

As we know, serious gaming can be a very effective tool in educating and training, but will it also be a success when applied to regular work processes? That was the key question in the second room. During his presentation project leader Maarten van Rijn shared the project design, experiences and provisional results of the research. The tests of gamification of work processes were conducted with the cooperation of employees of Confectionery Merba in Oosterhout and Jan de Rijk Logistics in Roosendaal.

The research clearly shows that, concerning the application of serious games, there are entirely different dynamics in training than there are in real work situations. “Gaming and working of course are totally different things”, according to Van Rijn. “In games you always have different options, which is seldomly the case in a work situation. Furthermore, mistakes gamers make in work situations could cause real trouble.” At this moment the research is not completed yet. Van Rijn: “We simply don’t have enough data to draw conclusions now, but it is dangerous to assume that the gamification of work processes will be as successful as gamification for educational and training purposes.”