Course : IENG 452 : Introduction to Six Sigma
Title : Lab report on The (Root) Beer Game
The Beer Game provides an insight into the supply chain in real world. It is played amongst a retailer, wholesaler, distributor and factory. The main objective of the game is to minimize the total costs of the supply chain and avoid backlogs. Communication between the four departments is not allowed. The retailer is the only person who knows the actual order from the customers.
What patterns of behavior do you see in your graphs?
Figure 1: Snapshot of graphs and data obtained using the simulation website
The first graph is of ‘Order versus Time period’. In the first graph, it can be seen for the
‘Distributor’, that the graph decreases a little and then becomes constant for some time. The order rises abruptly and again subsides down in the later weeks. On comparing with the other role-players, it is observed that the pattern of their graphs obtained is similar to that of the distributor. Hence it is surprising to observe that although different players take part in the supply chain, they come up with similar behavioral pattern. The behavioral pattern showed by the graph is that of ‘Phase Lag’, in which, the rate of order increases to form a peak towards the end of the time period. This pattern can be seen as we move from the retailer to the factory. Also, the peak obtained for factory is more than the double of retailer.
The second graph is that of inventory versus time period. It is observed that there is considerable oscillation, which increases in amplitude from retailer to wholesaler and then to the distributor. It is also observed that the inventory is positive for a small time period and then goes into backlog. This shows the increase in the orders placed and received. This graph shows ‘Bullwhip Effect’, which reduces efficiency of the supply chain. Forecasting, inability to share