Keywords: bullwhip effect, beer game, object-oriented design, UML, supply chain management, SCM, demand variability, internet, web-enabled games
Object-oriented design and implementation of a web-enabled beer game for illustrating the bullwhip effect in supply chains
An important observation in supply chain management, popularly known as the 'bullwhip effect', suggests that demand variability increases as one moves up the supply chain. Empirical evidence suggests that the orders placed by a retailer tend to be much more variable than the customer demand seen by that retailer. This increase in variability propagates up the supply chain, distorting the pattern of orders received by distributors, manufacturers and suppliers. In this connection, the (popular) beer game aptly illustrates the bullwhip effect. Various versions of this game have already been stipulated, starting with the original board-and-card version to computerised versions. The web-enabled versions allow for multiple players as well as a single player to play the game online. The software that has been designed and developed in that direction as part of this paper, is only one. Our analysis and design is based on sound principles of object orientation and the implementation is novel on several counts.