Monday, April 19, 2010

Free Food Day

Today was certainly a good day for free food. We started the day with free breakfast courtesy of the PSO as an "End of Year" social event. The coffee was much appreciated.

Currently, we are in our Operations Management class talking about Caruso's Pizza case and pizza delivery systems. When it was time for our break, our professor ordered pizza for our class. Our classmates are now hoping for a InBev case next to complement our practical "case study method".

Speaking of which, last week we were playing the "Beer Game" developed at Harvard. In the [Root]beer game, a team of four players each manage a part of a supply chain in order to satsify the consumer demand at the end. Players within teams do not communicate and are not identified during the game and the only method of communication is by placing orders.

The point of the game was to demonstrate what happens with a small jot of variation. The players in the supply chain tend to panick and as a result they order much more than demand might justify.

Without having to describe any academic theory beforehand, the professors were able to show the dramatic "Bullwhip" effect that this had on the supply chain at each point. After we had the results, they described how this effect has been replicated over many iterations of this exercise throught their history of running the exercise. It was a truly remarkable exercise that was interactive yet seemed to lead to an inevitable conclusion.

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