Root Beer Game - Supply Chain Essay

943 Words Nov 12th, 2011 4 Pages
Supply Chain Paper
Operations Management
Root Beer, Inc

In the first round of the root beer supply chain game there was a lot of confusion, mystery, and chaos; and the data showed that (Please see separate excel spreadsheet of data with mean, standard deviation, and variation calculated). Analysis of the data shows a classic bullwhip effect; the customer places an order and order fluctuations build up through the supply chain. You can also see that these effects are magnified as you get farther from the customer up the supply chain. This holds true for mean, standard deviation, and variation. Without proper communication between the supply chain, it felt like every group was working blind and three steps behind. This was due to
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Like a game of telephone, there are many different players within a company’s supply chain that communication can get distorted between point A and Z. As we spoke of earlier, technology has improved communication between these players but it does not come without a price. Many companies just can’t afford these technologies or would rather use that money somewhere else. Another problem is that many times each player within the supply chain has their own goals that may or may not be different than the other players and sometimes the company’s. How a company measures activity weighs heavily on how each group goes about their business. The companies that are able to get each group on the same page and working towards the same goals will be better off. Another reason companies struggle is because they do not have the right people or the right training. For example, many manufacturing companies are seasonal and may not hire people year round. They may save costs in personnel but it is hard to find someone who is experienced and can become familiar with your company if they only work during the busy season. Finding time to train your company in supply chain management can also be a struggle. There is also a negative spiral effect when a company has to spend so much of their time and resources on damage control, emergency situations, and fixing errors due to an inefficient supply chain and inventory management that they do not have the available resources to improve

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