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'In theory there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice, there is.'

- Yogi Berra

Pandemic Influenza Logistics Simulator (PILS) Game

The Pandemic Influenza Logistics Simulator (PILS) demonstrates the need to plan, create and operate a coordinated command and control system for managing resources in the dynamic, uncertain, highly constrained supply chain that supports the health care system during a pandemic.

One PILS supply chain network consists of a factory, central warehouse, two regional warehouses, and six hospitals.  The game is played by teams of 20 people managing pharmaceuticals production, purchasing and inventories at the nodes of this supply chain as demand spikes over 30 simulated “days” of a pandemic.

As the game plays out, local decisions inevitably produce chaotic system behavior and the supply chain systems fail. In subsequent play, visibility of total system demand combined with information sharing reduces inventories while increasing fill rates at the hospitals. The teams are measured across key performance metrics including customer service level, cost and profitability.

The key takeaways from the PILS game are:

  • The principles and dynamics of Supply Chain Management
  • Information and collaboration are critical to maximizing effective system response
  • Best practices in supply chain design and operation include computer-based modeling and simulation

Llenroc Hospital Operating Room Scheduling Game

How can Llenroc Hospital improve its facility utilization and patient satisfaction?

That is the question Eleanor Offerman is struggling to answer. Llenroc Hospital is one of the largest hospitals in New York City.  Eleanor, who is the VP for Perioperative Services for the hospital, knows that the throughput rates in many of the hospital’s surgical units are not as high as they are in other hospitals. She also knows that patient ratings of their experiences in these units is not improving and lags behind ratings for similar units in competitor hospitals. She also knows that physicians, nurses, and other staff are very frustrated. Each has numerous complaints. For example, physicians complain that procedures are delayed because patients are not brought to the operating rooms in a timely manner. Nurses complain that doctors show up late to begin procedures. Patients complain that they wait and wait and wait for various steps of their procedures to take place. All staff members complain about the lack of communication that exists among them. Everyone is working hard; but, performance, in multiple dimensions, is not improving.

Eleanor realizes that although her staff works hard and is highly skilled, they are not trained to conduct the types of analyses that are required. She has called upon your team to assist her in this endeavor.

'NOVA Inc.' Global Supply Chain Management Game

Supply Chain 101. Nova, Inc., a fictional manufacturing company, has implemented new technologies, business processes and organizational changes to remain competitive over the years.

Despite these efforts, however, Nova continues to under-perform, losing market share. In this game teams engage in friendly competitions to optimize Nova’s business using realistic computer-based simulations.

Participants receive hands-on experience with data analysis and advanced decision support tools to understand customer demand and requirements, design responsive manufacturing and logistics systems and create a collaborative supply chain management environment that drives Nova’s performance to industry leadership.

The Distribution Game

The Distribution Game deals with the problem of ordering and allocating stock in a simple, two-level distribution system consisting of a central warehouse and retailers.  Players decide when and how much to order from the supplier and when and how much to ship to retailers.  Customers buy from the retailers. The objective is to avoid stock-outs and make as much revenue as possible from these sales, while simultaneously managing costs to maximize profit.

Transportation Game

The Transportation Game deals with the problems of routing and scheduling trucks and delivery vehicles.

Upon completing the game, participants are able to identify the trade-offs that must be considered when dispatching vehicles, describe the procedure for making routine routing and scheduling decisions, quantify the impact of the order horizon policy variable and identify economic inefficiencies in the design of the transportation system.

The Cups Game

Discovery and application of the Five Principles are learned through the Cups Game. The game illustrates fabrication and assembly operations, bottle-necked operations, the effect of quality issues, coordination, and the management philosophy underlying the use of capacity and inventory to achieve good customer service.

Multi-item Kanban: The 'No B/C' Inventory Game

Kanban systems are typically associated with low product variety and high volume production. In this game, we simplify the production process of the Cups Game but dramatically increase the product variety and demand variability, and then limit production capacity.

A traditional Kanban system would break down in this environment. To deal with this problem, participants learn a new technique through game play that preserve all of the benefits of the Kanban production system while coping effectively with high product variety, the “No B/C” inventory management policy.