Learning Exercise

Near Beer Game -- Week 2 BU530

This week you will gain some practical experience using a simulation.  You will need to go to https://forio.com/simulate/mbean/near-beer-game/run/#p=page0.  Perform this simulation (either the novice or the expert version) for 25 weeks (in the simulation) OR until you reach equilibrium.  (Note that you can do this simulation in one night, and I recommend that you do because the simulation will reset after a period of time.  The weeks listed are just how many times you place inputs into the simulation because it takes a week in simulation time to get the inventory in to make the product.)  Record, in table format (that you create in Excel), your new customer orders (each week for the 25 weeks or until you reach equilibrium), your excess inventory (each week for 25 weeks or until you reach equilibrium) and the  number of raw materials you ordered that week for the next.  (Note you can include other items in the table if you wish.  However, these numbers should help you to analyze what you did and the effect of what you did for the week in comparison to demand.)  Upon completing the simulation, write a paper discussing what you learned from the simulation.  Be sure to discuss the impact of the bullwhip effect in your discussion, what inventory shortages you experienced along with the lost orders experienced for that week, whether you had more inventory than orders, how you made your decision to adjust your production/raw materials to meet customer demand, and what challenges and problems you experienced.  The paper should be written in APA form.  Additionally, the paper should be a minimum of two pages, excluding the table and references (if you use references).  Submit the assignment to Canvas by midnight on Sunday of week 2. Contact me with any questions.  Note that everyone’s results will be different, so do not work together for your inputs.  The number of weeks to equilibrium will not impact your grade.  What you learn in this process and how you communicate the learned knowledge will determine the grade.  This assignment is also meant to be fun.  SO, please do have fun with it.       


The Near Beer Game simulation is based on the concept behind supply chain management; to deliver customers orders... see more


This learning exercise mainly comes from week 1 reading materials.  However, you will also gain knowledge that will help you from week 2 reading materials too.  In supply chain management, the more you know the better you typically perform.  You will also see, via this exercise that in supply chain you often do not have every piece of information you need.  Sometimes what suppliers promise does not happen when it was promised.  Sometimes the market will change on you unexpectedly.  There is no way for you to know everything that WILL happen.  In real life, you must use all of your knowledge to make the best projections for production.  This exercise brings this fact to reality to most students.  Please make sure you have read chapters 1 through 4 of the textbook before completing this simulation.  You will gain much more from the exercise if you do.  



Be sure to write down your inputs and the outputs for each week.  This information will really help you to see what you did, where you went right or wrong, and help you with the final paper analysis you must complete for the week.  


This exercise will emphasize the bullwhip effect and also the sawtooth model (from page 319 of the text in Chapter 9).  Both of these concepts are very important in supply chain and operations management.  

Learning Objectives

  1. Analyze the factors affecting inventory equilibrium in the supply chain
  2. Discuss factors that impact supply chain management decisions
  3. Identify the impact of bullwhip effect on customers and business
  4. Recognize the importance of small lead times


The assessment of your learning will take place through the two page analysis paper you complete (in APA).  This paper should include a description of what you did and what you learned from this project/simulation.