2) Define the games to create
Each game represents one supply-chain with 4 roles : retailer, wholesaler, distributor and manufacturer.
The participants will be dispatched between these roles.
Complete the fields below to determine the number of games needed.
3) Configure the games
By default, each role starts the game with a stock of 12 units and incoming orders of 4 units for the next 2 weeks.
The total lead time between each stage is 3 weeks : 1 week for the order + 2 weeks for the delivery.
Ex: an order week 0 is applied on your supplier's stock on week 1 and will arrive to you on week 3.
The stock cost is $0.50/unit/week and backorder cost is $1/unit/week.
In the Free plan, games last for 12 rounds (/weeks).
From the Premium Plan, you can customize several parameters in the games to fit your training needs.
- Number of Turns : a 20 rouds game will last around 30 minutes (excl. intro & debriefing time).
- Transparent mode & visibility : you may play a first game with no communication/visibility, then compare when players can see all the games data. We typically see students adjust their ordering behavior and collaborate more.
- Delivery Lead time : you may play a first game with a long lead time (4/5 weeks), then compare when lead times are reduced following process improvements. The Bullwhip effect is usually reduced as the chain becomes more reactive.
- Minimum Order Quantity / Batch sizes : you may apply MOQs or Batch Sizes on specific stages (on the manufacturer for example). Batch Sizes enforce orders to be of a certain multiple. This simulates a pack of x items produced at once. It will increase a lot the bullwhip effect.
- Customer Demand : more variability and a more erratic demand typically generate even more perturbations in the upstream chain.
- Other parameters : Stock & Backorder costs, Starting conditions (each stage stock & orders), Computer ordering behavior (variability, stock target) when a player is missing.
With the Premium Plan, you may customize the games to fit your industrial context, brand and products.
- Product name and time period : replace beer with the product of your choice (cars, phones..), and replace the time period (weeks) with days or months.
- Stages & Layout : add or remove stages in the chain (between 2 and 8 stages). Customize their name and logo. This improves identification and engagement of the participants,
- White Labelling : change the colors and logo of the app. This improves the integration with your own training program or seminar. Make it a memorable experience !
5) Host the session in-person or remotely
Find below a proposition for a 2-hours session. Depending on your teaching objectives, the background of the participants, and the time available, you may of course adjust it. The Beergame App is a flexible tool !
- Pre-assign in advance participants to games and roles on a spreadsheet.
- At the begining of a session, introduce the game context and rules to the participants (10min)
- Start a trial game with screen-sharing, and send a few orders as one of the roles, to explain the interface. (15min)
- Share the link to your instructor page (or to each individual game) - and let the participants connect to their role. (5min)
- Let the participants order and advance up to the point when demand increases. Then announce that a big promotion has started leading to a demand increase 😱. Wait until the total number of weeks are reached and the game is finished. (30min for 20 turns)
- At the end of the game, show the debriefing stats, compare the competing supply-chains, discuss how they could work better together. (15min)
- Play a second round, with another setup : allow communication between players ("Transparent mode"). Participants will feel they have much more control over the different stages stock levels, and will perform better. (30min)
- Perform a final debriefing on supply-chain optimization, collaboration, system design.. (15min)
I have put together a few slides which you may integrate in your own deck :
Manage several games at once
It is totally possible for a single instructor to manage several games at once, either when playing in person, or remote.
From the Dashboard, or from your Instructor page, you have an overview on the advancements of all the games at once. Some games may run faster than others - this helps you identify potential concerns and make sure all games go on.
For more details on a specific game, you can access the stage with all its data, even if you're not connected as one of the roles. Just click on the link "access the game stage as a guest" on a game page.
If needed during a session, you can force-remove a participant from a role, or modify the game parameters, this happens in the "Game Settings" window.
With the Premium Plan, instructors can activate a timer. This forces participants to validate their order before a certain period of time (you may typically leave 1:30 per turn)
Follow-up from your Dashboard
After a session, you can archive the old games from your Dashboard - then they won't be available anymore for the participants and won't appear in your public instructor page.