Beer Game with a difference
This is another online beer game, but with a DIFFERENCE. The two popular online beer distribution games are by MIT-Supply chain Lab and the one by Jacobs (Indiana University).
MIT -Supply Chain Lab's beer
game developed by Kaminsky and Simchi-Levi
The beer game of MIT-Supply Chain lab is available offline with their book, but the game is restricted to only one supply chain partner (either manufacturer or distributor or wholesaler or retailer), while the others are played by the computer. The online version could be played by 4 different players but with difficulty.
The link for the game is http://beergame.mit.edu
Jacob's Beer Game
This popular online version of the beer game is played in many universities at both undergraduate and graduate levels. It has just one enhancement like varying the demand pattern and the games are created by the creator of the game. The instructor can start and reset the games according to his schedule. The problem we face in this game is coordinating the updation of the game status as the week proceeds. The instructor controls the game, he updates the status after making sure each supply chain partner finishes his return. This leads to a lot of confusion like what happens in an offline game. Getting all the players to play at the same pace is difficult. The link for this game is http://jacobs.indiana.edu/beer
Some other internet beergame versions
http://www.beergame.lim.ethz.ch/ developed by : Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) Zürich
http://www.masystem.com/beergame developed by : MA-systems (A Scandinavian software and consulting company in logistics)
http://backspaces.net/models/beergame.html developed by: Densmore, independent researcher
This online version of the game overcome some of the above deficiencies apart from providing some additional flexibility for the instructor to exploit the structure of the game. Here is a snapshot of some of the unique features of this online version.
1. Instructor just resets the game. The game is played entirely by the students (supply chain partners) without any intervention by the instructor! The status of the other partners gets updated automatically as they submit the order and shipment data. The game proceeds to the next phase/week when all partners in the game are done with weekly duties (submission of order and shipment policies).
2. All game players have unique passwords, which could reset by instructors if needed. In this way no player can view other partner's data! This feature is not available in the previous versions of online beergame. The passwords could be printed by the instructor in a label format and distributed to the students. In that way the players need not be seated next to each other. It creates the illusion of a real time supply chain, each could view only the downstream data and the upstream shipment they receive.
3. The instructor could change the structure of individual games
Change the lead time of shipment and information sharing, 2week shipping and information delay, 1 week shipping and information delay and 1 week shipping and no information delay
Change the demand pattern for the game
Change the holding cost for the game
Change the backorder cost for the game
Remove Retailer if unnecessary
Remove Wholesaler if unnecessary, like Wal-Mart's supply chain just manufacturer, Distributor (cross-dock) and retailer.
Remove both wholesaler and retailer if unnecessary, like Dell, direct shipment model to customer
Note: These changes are for the individual games, so an Instructor can actually have unique scenarios for each team in his class!
Apart from these unique features, the game also has some general features with respect to other online games like,
Graph plots of individual game players
Graph summary of the game
Automatic cost calculation
Instructor game monitoring (not control), he can know the status of the game and individual players.
If the game players need additional features please let the authors (Chalam) know and they would do the needful.
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