The Root Beer Game Simulation

Bullwhips and Root Beer:

Why Supply Chain Management is so Difficult

Don't use plagiarized sources. Get Your Custom Essay on
The Root Beer Game Simulation
From $10/Page
Order Essay

By Michael Bean

The basic concept behind supply chain management is simple: customers order products from you; you keep track of what you’re selling, and you order enough raw materials from your suppliers to meet your customers’ demand. So why is it that, in a recent article, the Economist claimed that, “Managing a supply chain is becoming a bit like rocket science?”

The problem turns out to be one of coordination. Suppliers, manufacturers, sales people, and customers have their own, often incomplete, understanding of what real demand is. Each group has control over only a part of the supply chain, but each group can influence the entire chain by ordering too much or too little. Further, each group is influenced by decisions that others are making.

This lack of coordination coupled with the ability to influence while being influenced by others leads to what Stanford’s Hau Lee refers to as the Bullwhip Effect. Decisions made by groups along the supply actually worsen shortages and overstocks.

The bullwhip effect is illustrated by a story Prof. Lee tells about how Volvo found itself with extra inventories of green cars. To get them off the dealers’ lots, Volvo’s sales department offered special deals, so demand for green cars increased. Production, unaware of the promotion, saw the increase in sales and ramped up production of green cars.

Cisco faced a similar problem last year that resulted in a $2.2 billion inventory write-down. Only a few months before the write-down, Cisco wasn’t able to get its products to customers quickly enough. Quoting a supplier to Cisco interviewed in CIO Magazine, “People see a shortage and intuitively they forecast higher. Salespeople don’t want to be caught without supply, so they make sure they have supply by forecasting more sales than they expect. Procurement needs 100 of a part, but they know if they ask for 100, they’ll get 80. So they ask for 120 to get 100.”

Delays Wreak Havoc

But coordination isn’t just about communication. Even in supply chains where communication is perfect, manufacturing and procurement delays can wreak havoc. That’s because while customers are asking for increased orders, backlogs are building, and it is oh-so-easy to confuse backlogged orders with increases in demand.

Thousands have felt the frustration of supply chain management in a simulation developed at MIT’s Sloan School of Management called the beer game. The simulation is run as a board game in teams playing the roles of retailers, wholesalers, distributors, and brewers of beer. As the backlog for orders increase, players order too much inventory, forcing their teammates into severe backlogs further down the supply chain. The game can be emotionally intense. John Sterman, Director of MIT’s System Dynamics Group writes, “During the game emotions run high. Many players report feelings of frustration and helplessness. Many blame their teammates for their problems; occasionally heated arguments break out.”

As before:

Try The Root Beer Game Simulation first-hand.

Here are instructions for running The Root Beer Game simulation:

Go to

Review the Simulation Summary, Your Role and How to play sections under the Prepare tab

Then go to the Analyze tab to run the simulation

Submit your weekly order in the Order field

When finished with each turn, review your performance under the Dashboard Overview, Inventory and Shipments, Orders and Backlog, and Cost Detail tabs

Plan and play your next turn. Spend a maximum of one hour working with it — no more. See how far you can get with it.

All of this sounds easy right? Try it out and see how well you can get beer to the customers while keeping your inventory and costs low! See if you can control the bullwhip oscillations of stock-outs followed by over-supply.

When you’re done with the active play, think about it in conjunction with this Module’s readings for perhaps another 15-20 minutes. Then please address the following questions:

Describe what you did in the simulation. What activities did you engage in? What did you learn about what’s going on?

Briefly describe what you believe you learned about operations management from your participation in this simulation thus far, if anything.

Briefly describe any ideas that occur to you as a result of thinking about the simulation in relation to the module topic and readings.

What do you now think of computer-based simulations in general as a learning mechanism? What about this one in particular?


Your paper should reflect your personal experiences with this issue. The important part of all these project assignments is to carefully assess your own experiences with the topic, and then reflect critically on what you might have learned about yourself and about situations through this assessment process.

Your grade is not dependent on your “winning” the simulation, or even doing particularly well; if there are reasons why you can’t get into it, just explain them and do as much as you can. Obviously, your learning will be greater the more you are able to accomplish; but the major factor in grading the Project will be the work that you invest in it and the energy that you apply to learning from the experience, whatever it might be.

If there are reasons why the entire exercise is impractical for you to undertake at all, please explain them to your instructor as early in the Module as possible, so that an alternative assignment can be arranged.

Your paper will be evaluated on the following criteria:

Precision: You carried out the exercise as assigned, or carefully explained the limitations that might have prevented your completing some parts (running out of time isn’t generally considered an adequate limitation).

Clarity: Your answers are clear and show your good understanding of the topic.

Breadth and Depth: The scope covered in your paper is directly related to the questions of the assignment and the learning objectives of the module.

Critical thinking: The paper incorporates YOUR reactions, examples, and applications of the material to business that illustrate your reflective judgment and good understanding of the concepts.

Overall quality: Your paper is well written and the references, where needed, are properly cited and listed (refer to the university guidelines ( if you are uncertain about formats or other issues. Greetings. First, on behalf of BrainMass I would like to thank you for choosing this service. I think you will find BrainMass to be an excellent tool in meeting your educational goals. My Solution contains the information you need to complete your assignment. Please remember the following:

1. All of my work is original. In cases where citations were needed I have provided them and listed them on the reference listing at the end. If you use any cited work please make sure to include the citation provided.
2. Some professors require headers and page numbers, if yours does so, please be sure to include them in your work.
3. I provided you with more material than requested. If your professor has a cap on length, you may want to consider condensing some of the material.
4. I have proofread the material for spelling errors, grammatical errors, content errors, and source citing. I strongly encourage you to proofread any material you may use and all of your work prior to submitting your assignments. We are all capable of missing errors on occasion, so there are never too many eyes to read your work.
5. If you are pleased with the work, please appropriately reflect with a positive rating in your feedback.
6. Please consider assigning future requests to me as your mentor/tutor.

This concludes my summary of the material I have provided. I hope this Solution helps you greatly in your program of study. Once again, thank you for using BrainMass and if I can assist you further, please let me know. Good luck!

Root Beer Game Simulation

The Root Beer Game served as an excellent demonstration of how supply chain management operates in an organization. The game requires the user to serve as the “retailer” in the game. During the simulation, the retailer must manage new orders, inventory, back-orders, and shipments. The game provides direct hands-on training in the area of inventory and supply chain management for students.

As the game started out, I began with a sizeable backlog. This required me to carefully evaluate my orders and ensure that I was estimating the right amount of shipment size. The game began with a rough patch as a retailer. I made the initial mistake of ordering the amount of inventory based upon orders received, and I failed to take into account my orders on backlog. This put me at a self-inflicted disadvantage and …

Solution Summary
The root beer game simulations are given. To continue with the answer check on

Calculate the price
Make an order in advance and get the best price
Pages (550 words)
*Price with a welcome 20% discount applied.
Pro tip: If you want to save more money and pay the lowest price, you need to set a more extended deadline.
We know how difficult it is to be a student these days. That's why our prices are one of the most affordable on the market, and there are no hidden fees.

Instead, we offer bonuses, discounts, and free services to make your experience outstanding.
How it works
Receive a 100% original paper that will pass Turnitin from a top essay writing service
step 1
Upload your instructions
Fill out the order form and provide paper details. You can even attach screenshots or add additional instructions later. If something is not clear or missing, the writer will contact you for clarification.
Pro service tips
How to get the most out of your experience with My Course Writer
One writer throughout the entire course
If you like the writer, you can hire them again. Just copy & paste their ID on the order form ("Preferred Writer's ID" field). This way, your vocabulary will be uniform, and the writer will be aware of your needs.
The same paper from different writers
You can order essay or any other work from two different writers to choose the best one or give another version to a friend. This can be done through the add-on "Same paper from another writer."
Copy of sources used by the writer
Our college essay writers work with ScienceDirect and other databases. They can send you articles or materials used in PDF or through screenshots. Just tick the "Copy of sources" field on the order form.
See why 10k+ students have chosen us as their sole writing assistance provider
Check out the latest reviews and opinions submitted by real customers worldwide and make an informed decision.
Customer 452483, July 5th, 2021
Thank you so much! Appreciate it!
Customer 452483, November 8th, 2021
Well done! I thank you very much!
Customer 452483, July 9th, 2021
Appreciate all of your hard work! Thank you so much!!
Customer 452483, September 14th, 2021
Thank you so much! I appreciate what you do and all of the great help you've given me!
Customer 452483, September 6th, 2021
English 101
Thank you guys for always being there and helping me always get a 100% on my assignments!
Customer 452483, August 16th, 2021
Healthcare Writing & Communications
You guys are awesome! Appreciate all of your hard work! Thank you.
Customer 452483, October 15th, 2021
Thank you for your hard work; I enjoyed reading the essay and appreciate your writing.
Customer 452483, July 18th, 2021
Thank you so much for revising this paper for me. It looks great, truly appreciate it! You're awesome :)
Customer 452483, September 14th, 2021
Classic English Literature
Great paper, thank you!
Customer 452591, May 5th, 2022
Thank you so much for all of your hard work, appreciate every bit of it!
Customer 452483, September 6th, 2021
Good job! Thank you
Customer 452487, October 17th, 2021
Customer reviews in total
Current satisfaction rate
2 pages
Average paper length
Customers referred by a friend
20% OFF your first order
Use a coupon 20OFF and enjoy expert help with any task at the most affordable price.
Claim my 20% OFF Order in Chat
Open chat
Chat with us Live Here
Get in Touch with Our Live Chat Agents via WhatsApp on +1(346) 416-0954. Get Unlimited Access to Answers on Any Queries With Your Paper.