The UK’s largest specialist wine retailer, Majestic Wine, have been putting their staff through a ‘supply chain simulation game’ – provided by the Supply Chain Academy in Essex - to prepare them for the day-to-day challenges of maintaining exceptional customer service.
The Beer Game, or beer distribution game, was originally invented in the 1960’s by Jay Forrester at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), as a result of his work on system dynamics. It is a competitive roleplay simulation game that allows participants experience the potential problems of traditional supply chains, and demonstrates the need for coordination throughout the supply chain.
Each group taking part in the simulation has control over only a part of the supply chain, but can influence the entire chain by ordering too much or too little. So, as in real life, the groups involved are influenced by decisions that others are making.
Neil Firth, Majestic Wine’s Supply Chain Director, said: “Majestic Wine selected the Supply Chain Academy to assist with our training, because of their approach to delivering bespoke, practical training to the industry.
“I wanted training that was different yet educational, to get my team to think and be prepared for any supply chain scenario. We worked with the Supply Chain Academy to develop a bespoke version of the beer game to help them understand what happens across the supply chain. It was a well-run event that the team learnt a lot from”.
Alex Mortimer, Director at the Supply Chain Academy, commented: “The beer game simulation is a powerful tool that helps people from different functional areas - such as sales, marketing, finance, manufacturing, procurement, customer service, warehouse and distribution - acquire a common understanding of how much the supply chain and business costs can be affected by such things as lead times, customer demand fluctuations, out of stocks, supplier behaviour and supply fluctuations”.