The Root Beer Supply Chain Game provides an experience to teams of four students in which they can manage their inventories to minimize a sum of inventory costs and back log costs. They manage the cost while responding to changes in end customer demand as well as the responses to these changes by their supply chain partners. The game is played without central coordination or communication. Interaction between players is only through issuance and receipt of orders and corresponding good flows.
The first round played provided the experience of learning the game logic and seeing how poor ordering decisions can create problems that are hard to recover from. It serves as a base line benchmark. After the first round, we have covered relevant theory, and teams made plans to improve performance. The results of the second round therefore require more careful analysis and can in turn result in improvement suggestions. Some teams may have continued such cyclic improvements by playing a 3rd round, 4th round, et cetera, in quest of excellence.
Report on your Supply Game Results and Improvement Opportunities as indicated below, in a word document with maximum 5 pages (excluding title page and appendices)
Add as appendices the data files of both the supply chain simulations results of your teams, as available in Blackboard under Session 9&10. If some team members have participated in other chains, we are very grateful for their flexibility to help out. Such students can choose whether to report with their original team or with their supply chain team. When in doubt, email
When analysing the results below, please recall that the costs of keeping an item in inventory for 1 week is 0.50 USD, while the cost for one week of back log is 1 USD per item. The goal of the game is to minimize total cost over the supply chain. The performance of individual players has to be analysed in view of this overall supply chain / team objective.
For each of these tasks you can earn 15 points. The total score is 10 plus the scores per task.
In an appendix, specify the contributions made by each of the team members in a brief companion (word) document. One line per team member suffices. You may also report here whether some team members deserve extra or less credit for their contributions. (Notice that the average group grade cannot be affected by these variations, but it may lead to individual grades which differ from the average grade).
Hand in the document before the due date specified on Blackboard. Late submission will lead to a lower grade. The default team assignment grade for the students who have been absent during the teamwork done in class on this assignment is 0.
Note: You can spend much time on this assignment and still feel you are not done. The expectation is that as a team you spend around 30 hours on the assignment (roughly one day per student).
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