Simulating Real-World Operations Dilemmas: "The Beer Game"
If there's one interest that most students have in common, it's probably beer! So it will come as no surprise that a favorite logistics demonstration among students in Weatherhead's MSM-OR/SC program is known, quite simply, as "the Beer Game." This classroom activity is a theory constraints problem that teaches students how to get through a bottleneck—no pun intended—in production.
This popular exercise illustrates a basic production line snag. Take a given product that goes through four different processes during manufacture, and imagine that each process takes a different amount of time. One process finishes 30 units a day, another, 22 units a day, still another, 40 units a day. How do you prevent units from piling up behind the slowest stage in the process?
Operations professor Daniel Solow, PhD, uses beer as the sample product when his classes conduct this experiment. Unfortunately, however, none is consumed in the process!
What Is it Like to Be a Weatherhead Student?
At Weatherhead, small class sizes mean one-on-one interaction with academic pioneers and industry leaders. Our faculty excel in teaching as well as research, and the opportunity to share their insights and excitement in the most up-to-date and creative areas of management studies is one that Weatherhead students prize. The diversity of our student body, too, enriches the graduate experience with points of view from countries and cultures around the world. Because students tend to learn from one another as much as from teachers, teamwork is a prominent feature of many classes; Weatherhead students form friendships within and outside of the classroom.