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Copyright 2012 by Harvard Business School Publishing.

You will play one of four roles in a root beer supply chain
Product orders move from right to left, product
shipments move from left to right

Game Play
Each week you will:
Place an order with the player upstream from you in the supply chain
Receive an order from the player downstream from you in the supply chain
When you place an order, it takes 1-2 weeks for the order to be received
When you ship an order, it takes 1-2 weeks for the order to arrive
If you are unable to fill an order, it will be added to your backlog
Both inventory and backlogs have associated weekly costs

Your objective is to achieve the lowest total cumulative cost for

your entire chain

Prepare: Your Role
2 3
1. Start the game in the
Prepare section
2. Your Role gives a brief
summary of your role in
4 the supply chain
3. A brief summary of How
to Play is available in the
right panel.
4. More details are available
in the How to Play video
available in the lower left
of the screen

Prepare: Simulation Summary

1. Simulation Summary contains

important information about how
your specific supply chain works
2. When you have read through the
Prepare materials, navigate to the
Dashboard Overview.

Dashboard Overview 2

1. Click Place New Order to 3

enter your order for the
2. The simulation will advance
to the next week when all
users in the supply chain
have submitted their orders
(or when the timer runs out,
starting in Week 6)
3. When the simulation 1
advances, the order and
shipment flow will be 4
animated. Control the
animation using the controls
on the right. If you no
longer want to view the
animation between rounds,
slide the Chain Animation
bar to OFF.
4. Your weekly orders and
costs are tracked in the
table below 6
Other Analyze Screens
Other screens are available for
additional analysis during the
game, including:

1. Orders and Backlog

2 Tracks your incoming orders
and resulting backlog over

2. Inventory and Shipments

Tracks your incoming and
outgoing shipments over time.
3. Cumulative Cost Detail
Tracks your Inventory and
Backlog costs over time


Your objective is to obtain the lowest total cumulative

cost for your entire chain
Both Inventory and Backlogs incur weekly costs
Future demand is unknown, but you have 3 weeks of
historical data to analyze
Shipments and Orders take 1-2 weeks to reach the next
player on the chain
The timer will begin in Week 6

Good luck!