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Beer Games: Supply Chain Simulation

11/08/2011

Students enrolled in Principles of Supply Chain and Operations Management had a unique opportunity during the Fall 2011 semester to participate in “Beer Games,” an exercise simulating supply chain.

Dr. Mahesh Srinivasan, Assistant Professor of Management, had his class participate in the exercise.  “The beer game is an exercise played in a classroom setting that simulates the flow of material and information in a simplified channel of production and distribution.” 

“The purpose of the game is to meet customer demand for cases of beer, (represented by game chips) through a multi-stage supply chain, with minimal expenditure on back orders and inventory.” 

“Students play the game in a team setting and experience and learn the challenges in dealing with variability faced in typical supply chains.”

Alan Bowdler, a student in the class, enjoyed the exercise, “The game was a little hard to understand at first, but once we began playing, it was actually pretty fun.  The hands on fashion of the game allowed the material to be taught more effectively.”