The Beer Distribution Game

Game Context

  • The Beer Supply Chain. You are part of a supply chain that delivers beer to the end consumers. The supply chain leads from the retailer, via the wholesaler and distributor to the brewery.
  • Choose your role. Depending on the game variant you play, you can choose to play any of these four roles: retailer, wholesaler, distributor or brewery.
  • Single Player Game. In the single player game you always take on the role of retailer.
  • Multiplayer Game. In the multiplayer game, the game admin can decide which role each player gets. The game admin can also assign roles to AI players – so you can play this game on your own and choose which role you would like to play.
  • Multigame. In the multigame, the facilitator can start many parallel games and can assign roles to each player in each game.

Objectives

  • Satisfy your customers demand. Your top priority is to ensure that your customers get the beer they order as quickly as possible.
  • Keep your inventory steady. You need to keep your inventory steady to ensure you can deal with fluctuations in demand. Try to reach an inventory target of 400 by the end of the game.
  • Keep your cost down. Any excess inventory beyond 400 units and any backorders increase your cost. Keep your total cost below €7,800.
  • Keep overall cost down. Excessive order behavior on your part will lead to shocks in the supply chain, which increase overall supply chain cost. Ensure that the total cost of the supply chain remains below €29,300.

Instructions

  • Check incoming deliveries. Check how many units of beer are being delivered to you from your supplier.
  • Check incoming orders. Check how many units of beer your customer has ordered.
  • Check your inventory. Check how many units of beer you have in your inventory.
  • Check your open orders. Check your order history to see how much beer you have ordered that hasn't been delivered yet.
  • Deliver beer. You don't need to worry about this step, this is performed automatically.
  • Make an order decision. Decide how many units of beer you need to order from your supplier to keep your inventory stocked up and to ensure you have enough beer to meet future demands.

Pitfalls

  • Delays. Your demands for beer may not be fulfilled immediately – your supplier may also be out of stock and will then have to pass his own order up the supply chain. So it can take some time before beer you have ordered arrives.
  • Shocks. Excessive order behaviour will increase your suppliers costs. Try to avoid this as far as possible.
  • Inventory Costs. You will be charged for 400 units of storage space every week. Try to keep your inventory below 400 or else you will pay extra costs. Every storage unit costs you €0.5 per unit per week.
  • Backorder Costs. Orders from your customer that you cannot fulfill directly are put on backorder. Backorders cost you €1 per unit per week.
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