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Learning from the beergame

In this section I illustrate, as an example, how I use and embed the beergame in a masters course on B2B E-Commerce and Supply Chain Management.

Assume that we have administered the beergame successfully during one class session.

Then, the session after the beergame session is called the debriefing session. In this session the data collected during the game play is being presented and discussed.

Moreover, the causes of the bullwhip effect - both with regards to the beergame and the real world - are being explored and discussed.

Having established the fact that a lack of information sharing, the structure of the supply chain and a lack of collaboration are at the heart of SC coordination problems, the following sessions can then delve into the richness of E-Commerce initatives and technologies (see course outline).

In doing so, all things discussed can be motivated and related back to the beergame experience.

Essential learnings

By discussing the beergame results the underlying causes for the bullwhip effect are revealed: 1) lack of information sharing, 2) supply chain structure, 3) local optimisation and lack of collaboration.

From these three causes, three areas of improvement can be derived, which can then make up the remainder of the course outline.


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