The Beer Game

Supply Chain Distribution Simulation

Suppliers, manufacturers, salespeople, and customers all have their own, often incomplete, understanding of what real demand is. This Game provides a role-play simulation opportunity which allows participants to experience potential problems of traditional supply chains. This competitive business simulation demonstrates the need for coordination throughout the supply chain.

The game requires participants to break into groups, each group controlling one activity of the supply chain. As the individual groups make decisions based on their areas of control, the effects of these decisions are transmitted across the entire chain, highlighting how small changes in events can have an amplified effect further up in the supply chain. This is referred to as the ‘Bullwhip Effect’.

£795.00 + VAT

1 Day Course


  • The object of the game is to powerfully demonstrate, through simulation, how inter-related and inter-dependant a real supply chain is and the effect that people can have on each other when working in a typical supply chain that involves multiple connected parties.
  • The simulation seeks to achieve the above with all the pressures of playing in a real world, complex operating environment where players are at the mercy of forces outside of their direct control in the system.
  • The objective through all the iterations is to minimise cost while at the same time maximising service to customers.
  • Outcomes of participation in the Beer Game will include:
    • An appreciation of supply chain dynamics
    • Understanding the communication flows required for effective supply chain management
    • Understanding the importance of forecasting and its impact on:
      • financial reporting
      • stock outs (and respective costs)
      • increased inventory holdings (and respective costs)

The simulation is a powerful tool for ensuring people from different functional areas (sales, marketing, finance, manufacturing, procurement, customer service, warehouse, distribution etc.) acquire a common understanding of how much the supply chain (and business costs) can be affected by such things as lead times, customer demand fluctuations, out of stocks, supplier behaviour and supply fluctuations etc.

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