Abstract for: Results of a Beer Game Experiment: Should a Manager Always Behave According to the Book?

A supply chain is a series of connected stock management structures. Therefore, the structure of a supply chain consists of many cascading inventory management problems. It is known that the optimal inventory control parameter values suggested by the literature are also valid for a supply chain. The motivation for this study is to investigate the effect of the literature suggested optimal values of the parameters of a dynamic decision making heuristic in the presence of semi-rationally managed supply chain echelons. The Beer Game is a well known board game widely used for educational and experimental purposes. We employ a soft coded one-to-one version of The Beer Game as an experimental platform to carry out the study. We use a much longer time horizon than the one used in the board version of The Beer Game to prevent a potential short-term horizon effect. The results of the simulation runs carried out in this study do not support the use of the well-established decision parameter values for the echelon of concern if the other echelonsí inventories are managed sub-optimally.