The Beer Game

The Beer Game

Length: 1181 words (3.4 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Excellent

Open Document

Essay Preview

More ↓
The Beer Game

With most aspects of life it is frequently the failures, as opposed to successes, from which we learn the most indelible lessons. With this approach in mind, The Beer Game to a large extent serves as the very antithesis of a properly functioning supply chain. In other words, the exercise demonstrates how NOT to manage a logistic operation. Hopefully, an examination of the pitfalls and shortcomings of a worst case scenario and avoiding the same types of mistakes will lend insight how to correctly manage a supply chain. What otherwise appears as a simple classroom exercise actually represents a powerful training tool with enduring lessons directly transferable to real world application.
Quickly becoming apparent after only a few rounds of play was in the absence of coordinating direction the individual supply chain links immediately focused upon acting in their own best interests much more so than the organization as a whole. Whether the end use customer was satisfied became secondary to avoiding stock outages for the next link in the chain, or their specific “upstream customer”. The real world application of this example is that focus on the end use customer must be consistent and maintained throughout the process up to and including delivery. Undoubtedly internal customers, such as retailers to wholesalers and distributors to production, must be serviced along the way for the transaction to ultimately occur. However, unless an end use customer is involved no profit can be realized by anyone.
Another lesson of the game materialized gradually at first, but steadily became more and more evident with each round of play. This lesson was the demonstration of the overwhelming ineffectiveness and utter futility of approaching logistics from the position of total ignorance. With no forecast or sales history to serve as a guide or predictive tool, the participating supply elements simply had nothing to base their projected order quantities upon other than pure conjecture. Operating in a vacuum relative to the other players of the supply chain was nothing less than counterproductive. Closely related was the development of a subdued, but underlying, sense of hostility within the supply chain as orders were placed that didn’t correspond with anticipated amounts. When this type of communication breakdown exists in the real world, an irritation between supply elements invariably manifests itself. Additionally, the resulting waste of time, material, storing of inventory and other resources expenses further fuel the fires of frustration and discord between supply elements.

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"The Beer Game." 20 Mar 2019

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

The Beer Game Essay example

- The Beer Game To see how decisions at one part of a supply chain effect the overall performance of a system, we ran a simulation called the beer game. The supply chain consists of a retailer who orders from a distributor who orders from a wholesaler who orders from a factory. At the beginning of each period, each stage of the chain orders upstream and receives the order shipped out to them two periods ago (the order they placed 4 periods ago) unless the next stage upstream is backlogged. All orders are eventually filled when inventory becomes available....   [tags: GCSE Business Marketing Coursework]

Free Essays
527 words (1.5 pages)

Beer Game Essay

- Introduction The Beer Game is a role-playing simulation developed at MIT in the 1960's to clarify the advantages of taking an integrated approach to supply chain management. We have developed this computerized version of the Beer Game to make it easier to play the Beer Game as well as to illustrate certain Supply Chain Management issues which cannot be demonstrated by the traditional (non-computerized) Beer Game. This game is distributed with the textbook "Designing and Managing the Supply Chain" by D....   [tags: Supply Chain Management Business]

Free Essays
1985 words (5.7 pages)

Physics of Beer Pong Essay

- Do you have what it takes to become a beer pong champion. If so, you have come to the right place. In this step-by-step tutorial, I will reveal the secrets of miserably defeating your opponent at the sport of beer pong. When played in tournament, beer pong takes a great amount more physical, psychological, and intellectual endurance than many other sports. It may even take many years of practice to become a champion. Don’t assume that this game is not a blood thirsty sport either. Alcohol is related to 100,000 deaths annually in America, usually occurring after a night’s game of beer pong (Sage)....   [tags: physics beer pong drinking game]

Free Essays
2547 words (7.3 pages)

Business Analysis : Heineken Beer Essay

- Product Zaganu Is a 100% Romanian beer produce established in 2013 in a small town called Maneciu-Ungureni. The company produces 0.0039 million hectoliter of handcraft beer a year 100% Romanian ingredients there are 3 ingredients: water, malt and 3 types of hops and yeast. By using 100% Romanian indicant and everything is hand made such as bottle, label and stapling the bottles are done by hand. This helps them to sustain a competitive advantage. They produce 2 types of beer normal beer and a dark beer they have 2 different sizes that they can offer (0.5L) and (0.3L) the bottle and the label helps them sustain a completive advantage by giving them a nice designee and colorful label...   [tags: Beer, Brewing, Beer style, Malt]

Research Papers
1490 words (4.3 pages)

Dinking Game Rulebook Essay

- DRINK Instructions and Rules Objective The purpose of this game is to have fun and socialize with individuals while at a party or some other type of social event where individuals are consuming alcohol. Plus, it gives all those involved yet another reason to drink. Age: 21+ Number of Players: 3 to 8 Playing Time: As long as it takes for those playing to get bored. Equipment • One (1) Standard 52-card Deck of U.S. Playing Cards (No Jokers) • One (1) Twenty-Five Cent piece of legal U.S. Tender (A Quarter) per player • One (1) Ping-Pong Ball (Optional) • Two (2) Standard Plastic Keg Cups per player • Beer of Choice Set Up Location Players should sit or stand around a table....   [tags: Drinking Game Guide How To]

Free Essays
1557 words (4.4 pages)

Video Games : Video Game Industry Essay examples

- Maneth Chan Video game industry is part of our culture not just the U.S. but around the world. The 2014 video games industry has come far from it original days, the graphic, sound, play ability, story and many more. To me video games are kind of like math or food since you can relate to it anywhere around the world. Video games goes as far back as early 1950s, when academics began designing simple game and other thing as a computer science research. They weren’t popular until 1970s and 1980s when arcade, consoles, home computer game were introduced to the public, now days the graphic in the game industry have amazingly realistic to them, you can almost mistake them for real if you’re not c...   [tags: Video game, Video game industry, Arcade game]

Research Papers
1380 words (3.9 pages)

Beer Pong for Dummies Essay example

- Beer Pong for Dummies Throughout the many years, college students have engaged in many activities to either entertain themselves or pass endless time. These activities have ranged from sports, either intramural or varsity, to various clubs and organizations devoted to students personal interests. While these have sparked interest and lasted a long time, none has exceeded the expectations of the wonderful game of beer pong. As I began to think about ways on approaching this topic I became very excited, but realized that all my information could not be displayed all at the same time....   [tags: Research Papers]

Free Essays
3405 words (9.7 pages)

Essay about Miller Beer Ads

- Miller Beer Ads In television commercials and magazine ads, Miller uses sex, and woman as a way to grab your attention and to sell the product. We all have heard the saying “sex sells” but how far can alcohol companies take it. In their latest commercials, Miller uses two very attractive female twins that argue about to positive aspects for why they drink Miller. One argues she drinks it for the great taste and the other because it’s less filling. This leads to a fight between these two very sexy twins ripping each others clothes off and wrestling around in a fountain of water; they strip each other down to just their underwear....   [tags: Advertisements Advertising Alcohol Marketing]

Research Papers
1784 words (5.1 pages)

The First Bottle Of Beer Essay

- 1. Now, at the age of thirty-one, Milkman is planning to end his relationship with Hagar. He remembers how he felt about her when he was twelve and seventeen. Why is she now “the third beer”. Milkman considers Hagar the "third beer" because now in their relationship Milkman only stayed with Hagar and made love to her because she was there. Milkman no longer had any feelings or desire to pursue Hagar, only remaining with her for their sexual relationship. Hagar is like the third beer because she no longer produces that excitement and satisfaction for Milkman, comparable to the effects of a first bottle of beer....   [tags: Black people, White people, Race, Sitting Bull]

Research Papers
993 words (2.8 pages)

Essay Budweiser Beer

- The commercial, "The Bug," is an advertisement for Budweiser beer. It takes place in a barroom that is long and narrow, typical of such an establishment in any city neighborhood. The bar itself is on the right of the TV screen, with the required mirror on the wall behind it, and assorted bottles on the counter. The over-all color of the place is dark with a typical wood bar and the colors beige and green, in various shades. In the opening shot, the bartender is setting up drinks on the counter, with the first patron arriving, saying, "How ya doin'?" as he sits down at the bar....   [tags: essays research papers]

Research Papers
717 words (2 pages)

In my opinion, the most striking lesson garnered from playing The Beer Game was a validation of the axiom, “the whole is greater than the sum of its parts”. In business terms, this maxim can be interpreted to suggest that regardless how well any component or subgroup of an organization may function individually, unless the organization integrates all elements into a harmonious and cohesive effort the end result will prove less than optimal. As I stated previously, The Beer Game provides this lesson and others by serving as the very epitome of an ineffective supply system. This assertion is further evidenced by the scoring methodology and strategy of the game. The fact that the game is ultimately won by the team accumulating the lowest score directly implies an absence of communication between the individual elements of the supply chain all but guarantees failure. The winner of the game in actuality is the team that loses by the least amount. This approach is clearly a poor strategy for success in business.

Several correlations can be readily found when comparing the lessons of The Beer Game and the concepts illustrated in Baker’s Scoring A Whole In One. I believe the most powerful connection between the two sources stems from the strong case Baker makes in stressing the importance and value of the synergistic benefits of an organization working towards a common objective as a cohesive unit. A single component’s accomplishments, although possibly exceptionally positive when gauged against that individual element’s performance goals, become completely irrelevant if the organization fails as a whole. This premise is the very cornerstone of The Beer Game. The more closely the players of the game are able to anticipate and respond to the actions and requirements of the other team players the more successful the team’s results and vice versa. However, departing from most real world scenarios, the game forces players to arbitrarily guess what the needs are rather than relying upon any factual or statistical information for reference.
A second connection can be drawn from Baker’s point that a system operates over time and space. It is not possible for any one component of the system to be immediately aware of the actions and needs of all other organizational components. True to this argument, the participants of the game remained in a state of continuously trying to catch up because they were unaware of the order and fill quantities of the other players each round until after they had placed and filled their own orders. All subgroups quickly responded to increased order quantities with knee jerk reaction, hastily stepping up their order volumes. The consequence of this rash behavior was a huge delayed ripple effect of inbound product at all levels.
Furthermore, despite the players being restricted from speaking to each other, every participant maintained unobstructed observation of the game board. In short order all players came to recognize as the end use customer orders significantly dropped that entirely too much product had been ordered and was now moving through the supply chain. With the game’s built in shipping and processing delays, it was akin to watching a car accident in slow motion. All could see what was going to happen, but were helpless in stopping it. This readily supports Baker’s position that systems operate over time and space. The acts of changing direction, speeding up, slowing down or stopping all take time between decision and end result; few things are accomplished instantly.
A third relationship between the game and Baker’s book ties in closely with the connection outlined above. Baker’s statement that there is no accounting for the effects of provincialism was validated with an exclamation point the more the game progressed. The links in the supply chain shifted more and more into a self interested protection mode with each round. No group was more negatively impacted than the production element. After the team collectively recognized the folly of dramatically increased supply orders, production players stopped producing cases as order volume dropped to zero.
In the sterile environment of the classroom, production players simply stopped retrieving chips from the cup representing production. In the real world, this chain of events would have likely resulted in one of two outcomes: 1) product would be made beyond the already overestimated orders to keep equipment and labor from becoming idle or 2) a partial or complete layoff/shutdown would occur at the production plant to keep inventory levels from spiraling out of control. Neither of these options is favorable and they serve to represent the very point Baker outlined.
Return to