Gamification ideas in business: Your way to a more efficient supply chain

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Simply put, gamification involves the application of game design elements in a business setting. Gamification uses both intrinsic and extrinsic motivators to encourage users to perform at their best, fostering engagement through tactics ranging from simple – such as a progress bar, to those that are more complex – such as loyalty programs and immersive storytelling. When gamification in business is deployed to the right audience and provides the right motivation, significant engagement follows. Take for example Volkswagen’s 2011 “People’s Car Project” in China for which the aim was to inspire the imagination of its followers by allowing them to design their own cars. Because of this project, gained 33 million hits and generated 119,000 ideas. Which is great. But how could gamification be applied to a supply chain? Here are three scenarios where gamification could foster a more efficient supply chain.

1. Progress bars help employees track training

Your supply chain management (SCM) software requires the skills of an employee who is trained to use it. The problem is that with each new update, employees need motivation to keep their qualifications and continuously improve their skills to help avoid creating inefficiencies within the supply chain. The solution? By gamifying training to encourage employees to reach 100% of the qualifications, organizations have better insight into employee performance. Adding a progress bar to a training program can tell users how far along they are with their training, or if there is a new update, or how many more modules remain before they complete all the new training. Similarly, gamification techniques such as digital badges, medallions or trophies can symbolize an employee’s progress and provide incentive to reach the next training milestone. Here, gamification can help ensure better supply chain performance through the employee’s enhanced knowledge of their SCM platform.

2. Loyalty programs foster improvements in on-time delivery

Frequent changes in suppliers and merchants along your supply chain are causing late deliveries to customers. In this scenario, the goal is to generate dependability between any two points on your supply chain (between supplier and manufacturer, or manufacturer and merchant, etc.). To achieve this, you might consider rewarding customers through a loyalty program. In gaming, loyalty programs, such as GameFly Rewards, are an increasingly popular way to engage new users and life-long players. A loyalty program is a simple way to incentivize future interactions between both parties, resulting in a greater generation of aggregate value within your overall supply chain.

3. Immersive storytelling helps improve decision-making

A new employee doesn’t feel confident in his or her decision-making ability when determining locations, capacities or technologies. Here, you could implement an immersive storyline – perhaps employing virtual reality (VR) –in which the employee is making all the decisions. With no real-world consequences, the employee has the freedom to experiment, to try and to fail, and to try again. As they progress through the story, they quickly gain the necessary feedback to help them make the right decisions with confidence. In this way, using VR could provide supply chain employees the opportunity to collaborate with colleagues across the globe through real-time simulations. Gaming elements such as avatars, immersive storytelling and shared audio and video functions can enhance everything from hands-on product design and packaging to preparing employees with safety procedures for high-risk environments and much more. Whether it be as simple as a progress indicator, as rewarding as a loyalty program, or as complex as an immersive storyline, the possibilities for gamification within business and your supply chain are endless. Have you used gamification in your supply chain? Let us know about your experience in the comments.


Jason Mahaney
- March 11, 2022 at 2:48pm
Hello - I'd like to explore gamification solutions within our distribution centers/supply chain. Thanks, Jason
- March 14, 2022 at 8:14am
Thanks for your interest, Jason! We look forward to hearing more about what you explore.

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