The Industrial Organization and Functions class, traditionally known as the Simulated Industrial Manufacturing Company (SIMCO), is part of the Advanced Manufacturing Management program. SIMCO is also a required or elective course for several other majors within the College of Technology. In the SIMCO course, technology students work in groups to create and pitch a product to the professor, who acts as the project's financier. Once the professor approves a product, the student teams then design, trouble shoot, market and ultimately sell the product to make a profit.
“As the title of the course suggests, students are in this course to learn more about how a manufacturing company organizes itself in such a manner that it can do what it needs to be successful," said Alister McLeod, program coordinator and assistant professor of advanced manufacturing management in the College of Technology. "What students get from this class is not the theoretical aspects of an organization's makeup. They actually get the hands-on experience of organizing themselves into a company and creating a product."
Indiana State graduates notice the benefits they have received from the course. Eric McGowan, who graduated from ISU in December 2011, took the course. He remembers how the department set a budget for the students, who then decided on the project and were responsible for everything, from creating and maintaining the quality of the product to marketing.
"SIMCO was probably one of the most applicable classes to prepare you for a career," said McGowan, who now works for Caterpillar. ""It's structured like a business, and it's good to see who's responsible for the different aspects of the job."