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What do you now think of computer-based simulations in general as a learning mechanism?

Try the Root Beer Game simulation firsthand.

Here are instructions for running the Root Beer Game simulation:

  1. Go to http://forio.com/simulation/harvard-business-school-root-beer-game-demo/#page=summary.
  2. Review the Simulation SummaryYour Role, and How to Play sections under the Prepare tab.
  3. Then go to the Analyze tab to run the simulation.
  4. Submit your weekly order in the Order field.
  5. When finished with each turn, review your performance under the Dashboard OverviewInventory and ShipmentsOrders and Backlog, and Cost Detail tabs.
  6. Plan and play your next turn. Spend a maximum of one hour working with it—no more. See how far you can get with it.

All of this sounds easy right? Try it out and see how well you can get beer to the customers while keeping your inventory and costs low. See if you can control the bullwhip oscillations of stock-outs followed by over-supply.

When you’re done with the active play, think about it in conjunction with this module’s readings for perhaps another 15-20 minutes. Then, in 2-3 pages, address the following questions:

  • Describe what you did in the simulation. What activities did you engage in? What did you learn about what’s going on?
  • Briefly describe what you believe you learned about operations management from your participation in this simulation, if anything.
  • Briefly describe any ideas that occur to you as a result of thinking about the simulation in relation to the module topic and readings.
  • What do you now think of computer-based simulations in general as a learning mechanism? Of this one in particular?

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