The following list of features is intended to provide an overview of the capabilities of the beergame software.

General structure

The client-server application allows setting up a game environment with a set of settings in which multiple supply chains (groups) can play at the same time.

The number of groups/chains, that can play at the same time, is only determined by processor power of the server machine and by the network speed. Up to 10 supply chains is no problem, which will be enough for most teaching contexts.

The software provides considerable freedom in setting up a game session. A range of options/settings can be customised:

Beergame options

  • Configure the supply chain structure: the game supports three to five staged supply chains.
  • Change shipping delay: the delay (logistics time lag) can vary between one and three rounds, in order to play around with time lag effects.
  • Initialise supply chain with your own values: define initial stock levels, deliveries, backorders, incoming orders and shipping delay amounts.
  • Customize external (consumer) demand: Consumer demand can either show one predefined change/jump or a complete series of demand numbers can be filled in.
  • Cost (for holding inventory and for back order) can also be customised.
  • Implement information sharing: The game allows providing consumer demand for all parties (POS data sharing), visibility of shippings (tracking & tracing), and visibility of inventory levels.
  • Allow players to communicate: the send message option allows players to send messages to each other.
  • Finally, all settings can be saved for later usage.

Student experience

  • The frontend is programmed in flash and shows animations of incoming boxes and envelopes in order to provide an interactive game experience and to make up for a lack of haptic experience (no physical stuff is moved around).
  • Players are easily able to keep track of all their data due to an intuitive interface. Also, players can choose to switch to a real time table view.

Data access

  • All data created during the game can be viewed by the instructor in real time.
  • At the end of the game, this data can be downloaded as an interactive excel file for immediate consolidation and presentation afterwards. From v.1.2 on, this excel file allows creating powerpoint slides with a push of a button.
  • Hence, no manual data entry is needed; beergame data can be used in class straight away.
  • Also, a new feature in v.1.2 of the software is a statistics overview, which shows the most important key performance indicators for the players and supply chains. This data can be used for facilitating discussions.