Beer Distribution Game - BDG
The Beer Distribution Game (BDG) simulates the interaction among four firms in a supply chain. Players take one of the four roles – factory, distributor, wholesaler or retailer – in a supply chain distributing cases of beer to satisfy end customer demand. Each week, players order from their immediate upstream location to replenish their on-hand inventory with an objective to minimize total supply chain costs.
In this game, students manage one of the four locations in a supply chain distributing cases of beer. The other three locations are managed by other student players. When the game starts, each student is assigned to a supply chain and a location therein. Only the retailer satisfies end customer demand.
Students learn how to manage inventory and prevent backlog while sending orders to the downstream in the supply chain. Lower demand visibility in the upstream of the chain and shipping delays causes excessive overstocking of inventory or extreme stock-out situations at different points in the supply chain. Students experience how small changes in end customer demand cause variability in ordering patterns moving up in the supply chain.