Based on the classic Beer Game developed by Jay Forrester at MIT, this team-based simulation portrays a supply chain with four links: factory, distributor, wholesaler, or retailer. Each student manages one link in the chain. At each stage of the distribution process, students face order processing challenges and shipping lags as well as central stock management problems.
Working in teams of four, students manage a Root Beer supply chain for up to thirty-five simulated weeks. Each week, students examine inventory, anticipate demand, and send orders to the adjacent connection in the supply chain. Students work together to minimize inventory holding costs while avoiding inventory shortages.
Develop intuition for the bullwhip effect, and explore techniques for controlling it
Experiment with demand forecasting, lead times, and batch ordering
Understand the importance of visibility and communication in the supply chain