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Play the Supply Chain Management (SCM) Game

Supply Chain Management (SCM) Game


Do you have the basic decision making skills for SCM jobs?

Do you think you’d make a good Logistics manager?

As the SCM Manager, take logistics decisions for your virtual company.

Learn about demand-supply, production planning & inventory management.

Supply Chain Management Game


About the Free Online Supply Chain Management Game

Definition of Supply Chain Management: SCM as an integrated discipline that covers the strategy, execution and management of all the resources and processes involved in the manufacture and distribution of products / services to the end customer. In a supply chain job, you could be involved in everything from the acquisition of raw materials, to designing the optimal manufacturing process, ensuring quality and timely delivery to the users.

SCM is the backbone of any business. But the theory behind it can sound pretty confusing and boring. So we’ve created a little simulation game to help you pick up the basics in an interesting and interactive way by optimising a virtual supply chain.

The SCM Game is our free online simulation tool that creates a simplified model of a supply chain. Developed by Sameer Kamat (Founder MBA Crystal Ball), it relies upon role-playing to evaluate existing skills and impart practical knowledge about a complex topic.

There are no software downloads, and no open-source customisation needed. Just launch it and play online. It’s a good and effective teaching tool for MBA classrooms and logistics training sessions as well.


Good exercise to bring the concept to life

“We had the students of the undergrad Operations Management class compete using the simulation. I think it would be perfect to assign as homework to a class – and have them write up a paper or summary on what they learned later. I liked the graphs at the end – especially how it integrated what the students did after. Overall, it was a good exercise to bring the concept to life.”

– Ashley Lesko | MIT Sloan MBA, PhD in Management | Adjunct Professor – Queens University of Charlotte (USA)


Highly recommended for logistics or SCM tutors

Supply Chain Game Reviews

“I used the SCM simulation game during the delivery of a Logistics Management training session I was facilitating. The game was very interactive and fun whilst also serving a constructive purpose, reiterating the difficulties faced with regards supply chain management and forecasting and planning orders. The group enjoyed the task whilst learning the various required aspects of Supply Chain management. A very useful and interactive tool which I would highly recommend for any logistics or supply chain tutors.”

– Lee Johnston | Advanced Manufacturing, Engineering & Logistics | Gateshead College (UK)


The way the results are presented at the end provides a good learning experience

“I made my undergrad students of the Enterprise Resource Planning course to play the SCM simulation game. As ERP is closely related to SCM, playing this game gave good insights to the students and helped them to relate to the concepts which they learnt in the classroom. The way the results are presented at the end provides a good learning experience for the students. Overall, the exercise was good and I would recommend this tool for anyone who is interested to learn the concepts of logistics, supply chain and operations.”

– Asish Oommen Mathew | Assistant Professor – Dept of Humanities & Management – Manipal Institute of Technology (India)


Here’s how the SCM simulation works


Supply Chain Management | SCM Game

This Supply Chain Management Simulation Game, inspired by the Beer Game (conceptualized by the MIT Sloan School of Management over half a century back), is an excellent way to learn the basic principles of Supply Chain Management (SCM) and appreciate the challenges faced by Logistics managers in a variety of businesses.

Your Challenge: Manage the Supply Chain effectively

As the newly recruited Logistics Manager, you are taking over the operations of an existing supply chain. You need to ensure that you are balancing the production with the market demand. If you do well in the 6 month probation period, you get a permanent job and a pay hike. Simple enough? Let’s add some ground rules for the game.

Understand how your virtual Supply Chain works


– You have a maximum of 26 attempts (each attempt representing 1 week) to achieve equilibrium i.e. the chain is capable of running in an auto-pilot mode. [Note: In the free version, this is limited to 5 attempts only]

– Each week you just have to take one decision. How many units to produce?

– While moving through the supply chain, there’s a time delay of 1 week e.g. it takes 1 week for your vendors to deliver the raw material (procurement), another week for the brewing process (work in progress), and another one to move the finished goods to the retailers (inventory).

– If you have enough quantity in your inventory, the relevant number of units are shipped out to the customers. If not, the backlog of orders keeps piling up and needs to be satiated in the subsequent weeks.

– If any of this isn’t entirely clear, don’t worry. Start the online game and you’ll soon get the hang of what’s happening.


Get started

We offer 2 versions of the game:

  • Free version: Offers a limited scope option (5 decision cycles of the game) to test the waters.
  • Premium version: You get to play the full game for 26 cycles (instead of 5), and convert the game into a real learning experience.

Our suggestion would be try out the free version first to get an idea of how to play the game. If you like what you see, go ahead and sign up for the premium version.

The free version is included in our free mini-MBA online course. Get started with it below.

Mini Online MBA

The free version is NOT for academic or professional use: If you are a professor, trainer or university / company representative interested in using this game for your class, we can create a premium account with a customised user-interface specially for your brand for a nominal charge. Read more here – simulation game premium pricing. If this sounds interesting, send us an email: contact [at] mbacrystalball [dot] com

Other Supply Chain Management Resources

There are plenty of articles on SCM out there. But before getting lost in the theory, try out our simulation game. Experience first hand what it feels like to manage a supply chain. Once you gain some familiarity, follow it up with some more relevant reading.

Here’s a list of SCM articles to get you started.

Introduction to Supply Chain: A simple and light-weight article on (link)

What is a Supply Chain? Slightly more comprehensive (but dry) article on Wikipedia (link)

Supply Chain & Risk Management: MIT & PwC have come out with this free pdf download (link)

You may also be interested in trying our Business Strategy Game.