You may have heard about a Lean training module called The Beer Game. Well, it is not really a game and you do not get to drink beer during the game.  (Although many people drink beer after the game) The Beer Game is a simulation of a supply chain that illustrates how systems and processes impact the performance and outcomes for an organization.

The Beer Game was invented at MIT in the 1960s. This popular logistics simulation has been used for decades by people in many different industries. CEO’s, leaders, and students alike have found the game to be very educational and helpful. The Lean Learning Center’s Beer Game is an educational tool meant to enhance a company’s transformation process and ensure desirable and sustainable results.

How is the Beer Game played?

Participants of the game examine a hypothetical supply chain to ensure customers’ weekly beer demand is satisfied. Operational costs must remain as low as possible. In many cases, the participants don’t achieve the results they had initially strategized for. Why? The game shows participants that, regardless of strategy, bad systems will always create undesirable results, regardless of how skillful and motivated the workforce is.

The game usually features at least two teams, each with four to eight players. The game flows quickly, creating a competitive atmosphere. Learning and playing the game, including establishing basic foundational capabilities, can be done within three hours.

Team members split up the roles of all intermediaries between the factory and the retailer. In the process, they face challenges similar to those in a real-world supply chain and solve them without abandoning the system. Their strategies and decisions will ultimately determine their level of success.

In any transformational program, it is guaranteed an organization will experience some bad results. The Lean Learning Center helps professionals and organizations identify the causes of bad results within their own systems, and make the necessary changes. The Beer Game is designed to help learners identify issues and improve inefficient systems.

Lean Learning Center offers all the training resources required in the Beer Game module. The package will cover topics such as:

  • Inefficient Systems Beat Skills and Experience
  • The Iceberg Model for Exploring Systems
  • Systems’ Activities, Connections, and Flows
  • Systems’ Effect on Behavior

The Beer Game is part of Lean Learning Center’s training curriculum. The program is a fun way for your team to learn key aspects of the supply chain, in a manner that makes it easy to apply lessons to the real business world. To find out more about the program, please get in touch with us by calling 248-906-8605 or email; [email protected].

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