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Candies Game

An all-new, "sweeter" take on the classic "Beer Game".

Introduction

Inspired by a 60s classic.

Candies Game is a gamification inspired by the classic “Beer Game”, ,first developed in the 1960s at the MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) Sloan School of Management, U.S.A. The game demonstrates the complexity of the decision-making process when managing a business that, as part of a supply chain, aims to offer the highest level of service to its customers while incurring on the lowest possible operating costs. With an all-new functionality and the most advanced technology, it provides an exceptional tool for educators and students who wish to interactively and visually analyze key aspects of the world of operations.

Subject matter

The challenge is to attain the highest level of service with the lowest operating costs.

In this simulation, students take the role of a distributor at the intermediate node of a supply chain formed by the manufacturer, the distributor and the point of sale. They perform operations with customers, from whom they receive orders; and suppliers, from whom they receive products. The objective is to manage the supply chain as efficiently as possible, offering the highest possible level of service while incurring on the lowest possible operating costs. The game takes place in a time window of 40 periods of time, which simulate as many periods of activity of the distributor. As with any operating model of real life, in each period students receive the demand from their customers and, by means of orders, they request products from their suppliers, operating from the distribution warehouse. On each period, the system generates a random demand arising from the customer node, which varies within a certain threshold.

The rules of Candies Game set forth revenues for product sales, carry and stock-out costs, purchase costs and lead times. It may be played individually or in teams, and the game offers a wide range of real-time graphical information regarding the level of service delivered and the profit accrued in each period. The simulation is available for individual users and organizations, including companies, educational centers and business schools.

Administration module for educators

It allows for the degree of difficulty to be adjusted and logs individual player results.

Candies Game has an administration module that is specially designed to provide specific value-added functionalities to educators. More specifically, the administrator may modify the contents of the parameters that impact the game’s behavior for his group of students:

  • Suppliers’ product lead times
  • Demand variability thresholds
  • Players’ initial stock levels
  • Unit selling price
  • Unit opportunity cost
  • Unit inventory carrying cost
  • Unit purchase cost

This feature offers the instructor an ideal hands-on tool to explain the effect changes have across different operational variables of the gamification. For example, that of supplier lead times in the level of service and profit, testing whether it makes sense to pay more for the same product to a supplier that offers a shorter lead time, or comparing the effects of demand variability in stock management and profit.

It is recommended to encourage students to perform different playthroughs in which these parameters are assigned different values, increasing the difficulty and observing the impact on the level of service and profit graphs. Students may compete with each other to be the best.

Instructors also have access to the final result of each execution for each of the players in their group or instance; therefore, Candies Game may be used as an on-line evaluation tool.

Learning subjects

  • Demand
  • Lead times
  • Profitability
  • Service level
  • Stock control
  • Carry cost
  • Opportunity and ordering costs
  • Process variability
  • Supply chain bullwhip effect
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