In 2023, we celebrated the 15th anniversary of MikesBikes World Champs, and the competition concluded with Steven Szeles and Griffin Wirth of Pikes Bikes from the University of Idaho emerging as the new MikesBikes World Champs Winners!
Steven and Griffin share their MikesBikes journey and advice to future students:
Our decision-making process was not overly complicated, we analyzed the previous years market as well as the reports made available to us. With the information it provided we identified the product(s) with the highest possible profit, then invested our resources in the most efficient way possible to achieve the max profit.
Our strategy going into the simulation was to buy SCU early so that we would be able to produce more bikes in the later years and not be limited by our capacity. Apart from this we tried to find what decisions would yield the most profit rather than the most revenue or market share.
One challenge we faced was adapting to the advanced simulation from the intro simulation. We also faced the challenge of predicting what our opponents would do. With so many options and other competitive teams it was hard to predict what people would do and how we could adapt to their decisions. We tried to be aggressive while still being realistic to ensure we didn’t overextend ourselves.
To help prepare ourselves for the Mikes Bike World Championship we reviewed information made available online regarding the competition. Watching video analysis of previous winners’ decision-making process was integral to the strategy we inevitably employed. We also consulted with our professor to clarify things we didn’t fully understand.
The simulation was a lot of fun. However, with enough time you can break down the simulation and begin to understand how every decision will affect shareholder value. With shareholder value being the only determinate of the winner, it promotes aggressive and unsafe business decisions. Every year you are trying to gain the most shareholder value and thus are not making decisions that would be considered long term. In this way the simulation loses its real life feeling and becomes like a game.
The Mikes Bikes simulation project in our Business 190 class was the highlight of the semester, being the first hands on opportunity we’ve received to apply what we have been able to learn both in class and in the real world, it stood out as an exciting chance to showcase the work we have both put in outside of the classroom.
The number one piece of advice we would give new students would be to put profit first. Many people try and lower price and try and get as much market share and sales as possible. This is flawed as it lowers your profit and profit is the number one driver of shareholder value. Profit will drive your shareholder value, revenue alone will not.