Korean Massage Equipment Producer Nuga Medical Develops 3 Board Games
to Improve their Business Processes in Eastern Europe
Nuga Medical is Korean manufacturer of unique state of art home massage and other healthcare equipment that can significantly improve people’s health and cure different illnesses. Nuga Medical are represented in 105 countries and have their own massage parlor sales network of over 3500 places starting in China throughout the U.S., Russia, Vietnam, Indonesia, Germany, Argentina, etc. Nuga Medical targets senior citizen population of 65+ with a unique business concept that anybody can attend free massage and educational sessions for as long as their health improves and even more. Then, if he/she wants to use this massage equipment at home he can purchase it.
NugaBest, Nuga Medical East European dealer started to face some difficulties in maintaining the same customer service level in all of its parlors, attracting attention of its visitors to the sales presentations, and in training anatomy knowledge and product information to its sales assistants. They turned to us for a custom game development as a solution.
We developed 3 different training board games for NugaBest: Nugo, Nuga Health and Nuga Sim.
The first game, Nugo, was game intended for NugaBest customers. Traditional business model of NugaBest was that before attending their free massage session customers had to listen to a lecture type presentation of Nuga Medical equipment benefits that was seldom engaging and sometimes even boring. Taking into account average age of NugaBest customers (65+) we developed a Bingo type game to be played instead of many lectures. It was grounded in experiential learning concept that if you search for answers you retain much more information than just by listening. We focused the game around 3 themes – Health, Nuga Medical Equipment and Life Values. Now customers were doing the search themselves, competing with each other, having much more fun while lecturers were facilitating the learning and providing more targeted expert position on key issues.
The second game, Nuga Health, was game for NugaBest sales reps. In order to work as a sales representative one has to have both excellent people skills for servicing customers in parlors as well as deep medical knowledge – about symptoms, illnesses and their cures using Nuga Medical equipment. Since a degree in medicine is not required, majority of the sales reps do not have formal medical training and therefore need to learn the necessary heavy curriculum on the job. It takes several months of learning and a lot of management effort teaching them. In order to make this process much easier and faster we created Nuga Health game. It was a boardgame focused on 3 key areas: classifying almost all illnesses (from Nuga Medical point of view) and their symptoms, Nuga Medical Equipment and how it can be used to help as well as human life goals that quite often contradict healthy lifestyle. The company put this game in every massage parlor as a teaching tool for managers when they educate their staff. Effect was awesome – training time decreased in half with considerable increase in retention and understanding thus resulting in better sales.
The third game, Nuga Sim, was a management simulation for parlor managers on running a NugaBest location. Players in teams of 3-4 were establishing and then running a simulated NugaBest parlor through several business years and competing with each other for best profit and other KPIs. We created a physical simulation – participants played with real model locations made from magnetic walls and miniature massage beds, did space design and interior design, serviced doll-type customers, run events, created P&L statements at the end of each year and improved their performance from one game year to the next. Game also included Nuga Medical internal standards and procedures with a purpose both to learn them and to understand their impact on business results. Simulation was highly appreciated both by new and experienced parlor managers. For the new ones it was a crash course into the strategy of their work, the experienced ones could test different marketing and other strategies as well as also see their own real life management mistakes and pitfalls. Many managers later on played the simulation with their teams in their locations to raise their awareness on key business processes.
As a result all of the 3 games brought much more experiential context into the company’s daily operations, made their work more profound, dynamic and with more lasting effect as well as were used not only in the parlors but also in different NugaBest conferences and events
Liga Garkusha, NugaBest L&D Manager talks about our project where NTI custom designed several business games for them, and in particular about NugaSim game about their massage parlor management.
Artur Komarica, NugaBest Owner: Thanks to NTI we have changed our training concept from lectures in big audiences to boardgame based training for 30 people groups, the learning effect is much deeper and more sustainable this way as well as our people absolutely love that. Previously a lot of my CEO time was devoted to never ending training of our parlor managers. Now I have delegated that to game-based training system (we also have purchased licenses of other NTI’s games) and it works very well. This training system allows introducing and maintaining united standards and procedures in the whole network and I can focus more on growth opportunities and other businesses. Out of many NTI’s games we use my favorite is Nuga Sim because it allows really useful best practices sharing, people learn from each other so much as well we can insure the same standard of parlor management in every location.
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We think that cost and effort wise it makes sense to develop a special company game, if you plan to train at least 200 employees per year. Respectively, we develop business games for large and medium-sized businesses, organizations with a large dealer network and for training companies. Our second category of customers is educational systems and establishments.[/teaser]
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