Gamification in Supply Chain Management (SCM) education: a practical experience with the Beer Game


  • Rodrigo Duarte Soliani
  • Ricardo dos Santos Pereira
  • César Gomes de Freitas
  • Fábio Soares Pereira



Beer Game, supply chain management, bullwhip effect, simulation, decision making


Effective supply chain management is crucial for organizational success, requiring a practical and profound understanding of essential concepts to optimize operations, gain a competitive advantage, ensure customer satisfaction, mitigate risks, and enable the adoption of innovations that enhance performance. The innovative teaching and learning approach known as gamification, exemplified by the Beer Game, prepares students to face real challenges by simulating a beer supply chain, highlighting its complexity and the "Bullwhip Effect" concept. The practical experience helps students identify the consequences of their decisions, emphasizing the importance of collaboration, coordination, and strategic decision-making. This study aimed to provide 38 students in Technology in Logistics and Bachelor of Administration courses with practical experience in managing a supply chain with variable demand through the Beer Game. The intervention combined theory and practice, using the Beer Game as a simulation tool. Results revealed imbalances in orders and difficulties in decision-making, especially concerning unfulfilled orders. Previously reviewed research has confirmed the effectiveness of the Beer Game as a teaching tool for supply chain management. The evaluation by participating students showed that the game had a significant impact on the development of logical reasoning and the assimilation of concepts, although 25-30% of students faced difficulties in understanding certain game concepts. It is suggested that future Beer Game sessions should include strategies to mitigate the "Bullwhip Effect" and deepen the analysis of decision-making behavior in the supply chain, preparing university students for future challenges in their careers.


AHMED, A.; SUTTON, M. J. D. Gamification, serious games, simulations, and immersive learning environments in knowledge management initiatives. World Journal of Science, Technology and Sustainable Development, v. 14, n. 2/3, p. 78-83, 2017.

ALFIERI, A.; ZOTTERI, G. Inventory theory and the beer game. International Journal of Logistics Research and Applications, v. 20, n. 4,p. 381–404, 2017.

ALSAWAIER, R. S. (). The effect of gamification on motivation and engagement. International Journal of Information and Learning Technology, v. 35, n. 1, p. 56-79, 2018.

AL-SHAMMARI, M. M. An exploratory study of experiential learning in teaching a supply chain management course in an emerging market economy. Journal of International Education in Business, v. 15, n. 2, p. 184-201, 2022. https://doi.


BENEŠOVÁ, A.; TUPA, J. Requirements for education and qualification of people in industry 4.0. Procedia Manufacturing, v. 11, p. 2195–2202, 2017.

BONFIELD, C. A.; SALTER, M.; LONGMUIR, A.; BENSON, M.; ADACHI, C. (). Transformation or evolution? Education 4.0, teaching and learning in the digital age. Higher Education Pedagogies, v. 5, n. 1, p. 223–246, 2020.

BRAZHKIN, V.; ZIMMERMAN, H. Students’ perceptions of learning in an online multiround business simulation game: What can we learn from them? Decision Sciences Journal of Innovative Education, v. 17, n. 4, p. 363–386, 2019.

CHRISTOPHER, M. Logística e gerenciamento da cadeia de suprimentos. 4th ed. São Paulo: Cengage, 2018.

CHRISTOPOULOS, A.; MYSTAKIDIS, S. Gamification in education. Encyclopedia, v. 3, n. 4, p. 1223–1243, 2023.


DE SOUZA, A. C. S.; CARVALHO, T. M. de S.; LIMA JÚNIOR, F. B. de; SOLIANI, R. D.; OLIVEIRA, P. R. de S.; NORA, L. A. R. da S.; DRUMOND, T. D. R. (2023). Foreign Trade of the State of Acre, Brazil, Between 2019 and 2022: An Analysis of Commercial Interactions. International Journal of Professional Business Review, v. 8, n. 10, p. e03696.


DETERDING, S.; DIXON, D.; KHALED, R.; NACKE, L. From game design elements to gamefulness: Defining “gamification”. Proceedings of the 15th International Academic MindTrek Conference: Envisioning Future Media Environments, 2011.

FRANÇA, F. A. C.; RIBEIRO, F. A. A.; PEREIRA, A. I. S.; NASCIMENTO, D. K. P.; SILVA, L. F. M. S.; GONÇALVES, M. E. DE C.; MEIRELES, F. G. S. R.; ALVES, T. G. (2023). The Cook Sorcerer: a game to assist in the treatment of symbolic behavior, favoring generalized recombinative reading in autistic children. Caderno Pedagógico, v. 21, n. 1, p. 14–33.


GATTORNA, J. Strategic Supply Chain Alignment: Best Practice in Supply Chain Management. London, Routledge, 2017

GE, X.; IFENTHALER, D. Designing engaging educational games and assessing engagement in game-based learning. Gamification in Education, IGI Global, p. 1–19, 2018.

GOMES, A. C.; LIMA JUNIOR, F. B.; SOLIANI, R. D.; OLIVEIRA, P. R. S.; OLIVEIRA, D. A.; SIQUEIRA, R. M.; NORA, L. A. R. S.; MACEDO, J. J. S. Logistics management in e-commerce: challenges and opportunities. Revista de Gestão e Secretariado, v. 14, p. 7252-7272, 2023.


JAMALUDIN, M. The influence of supply chain management on competitive advantage and company performance. Uncertain Supply Chain Management, v. 9, n. 3, p. 696–704, 2021.

JAYALATH, J.; ESICHAIKUL, V. Gamification to enhance motivation and engagement in blended eLearning for technical and vocational education and training. Technology Knowledge and Learning, v. 27, n. 1, p. 91–118, 2022.

JHAN, Y.-C.; LUARN, P.; & LIN, H.-W. Individual Differences in Digital Game-Based Supply Chains Management Learning: Evidence from Higher Vocational Education in Taiwan. Sustainability, v. 14, p. 4614, 2022.

KOUL, S.; NAYAR, B. The holistic learning educational ecosystem: A classroom 4.0 perspective. Higher Education Quarterly, v. 75, n. 1, p. 98–112, 2021.

KWAK, D.-H.; MA, X.; POLITES, G.; SRITE, M.; HIGHTOWER, R.; & HASEMAN, W. Cross-level moderation of team cohesion in individuals’ utilitarian and hedonic information processing: Evidence in the context of team-based gamified training. Journal of the Association for Information Systems, v. 20, p. 161–185, 2019.

LAU, A. K. W. Teaching supply chain management using a modified beer game: an action learning approach. International Journal of Logistics Research and Applications, v. 18, n. 1, p. 62-81, 2015.


MAKARIUS, E. E.; SRINIVASAN, M. Addressing skills mismatch: Utilizing talent supply chain management to enhance collaboration between companies and talent suppliers. Business Horizons, v. 60, n. 4, p. 495–505, 2017.

MOHADDESI, O.; SUN, Y.; AZGHANDI, R.; DOROUDI, R.; SNODGRASS, S.; ERGUN, O.; GRIFFIN, J.; KAELI, D.; MARSELLA, S.; HARTEVELD, C. Introducing gamettes: A playful approach for capturing decision-making for informing behavioral models. Proceedings of the 2020 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems. 2020


MORITZ, B. B.; NARAYANAN, A.; & PARKER, C. (). Unraveling behavioral ordering: Relative costs and the bullwhip effect. Manufacturing & Service Operations Management: M & SOM, v. 24, n. 3, p. 1733–1750, 2022.

POURNADER, M.; NARAYANAN, A.; KEBLIS, M. F.; & IVANOV, D. Decision bias and bullwhip effect in multiechelon supply chains: Risk preference models. IEEE Transactions on Engineering Management, p. 1–15, 2023.

PUCHE, J.; PONTE, B.; COSTAS, J.; PINO, R.; DE LA FUENTE, D. Systemic approach to supply chain management through the viable system model and the theory of constraints. Production Planning & Control, v. 27, n. 5, p. 421–430, 2016.

RUSHTON, A.; CROUCHER, P.; BAKER, P. (2022). The Handbook of Logistics and Distribution Management: Understanding the Supply Chain. Kogan Page; 7th ed.

SALEEM, A. N.; NOORI, N. M.; OZDAMLI, F. (2022). Gamification Applications in E-learning: A Literature Review. Technology, Knowledge and Learning, v. 27, p. 139–159.

SALINAS-NAVARRO, D. E.; MEJIA-ARGUETA, C.; MONTESINOS, L.; RODRIGUEZ-CALVO, E. Z. Experiential Learning for Sustainability in Supply Chain Management Education. Sustainability, v, 14, p. 13133, 2022.

SANDERS, N. R. Supply Chain Management: A Global Perspective. 3. ed. John Wiley & Sons, 2020.

SARKAR, S.; KUMAR, S. A behavioral experiment on inventory management with supply chain disruption. International Journal of Production Economics, v. 169, p. 169–178, 2015.

SCHERMERHORN Jr, J. R.; BACHRACH, G. Management. 14. ed. John Wiley & Sons, 2020.

SHI, D.; WANG, T.; XING, H.; & XU, H. A learning path recommendation model based on a multidimensional knowledge graph framework for e-learning. Knowledge-Based Systems, v. 195, n. 105618, 2020.


SHOVITYAKOOL, P.; JITTAM, P.; SRIWATTANAROTHAI, N.; & LAOSINCHAI, P. A Flexible Supply Chain Management Game. Simulation & Gaming, v. 50, n. 4, p. 461–482, 2019.

SILVA, L. DE S. da.; SOLIANI, R. D.; ARGOUD, A. R. T. T.; FREITAS, C. G. de. (). The role of a Distribution Center (DC) in the supermarket sector: a systematic literature review. Research, Society and Development, v. 11, n. 16, p. e503111638728, 2022.

SIMULARE. O Jogo da Cerveja ou Beer Game: aprenda como utilizar a dinâmica. Florianópolis, SC, 2018.

SINHA, A.; MILLHISER, W. P.; HE, Y. Matching supply with demand in supply chain management education. The International Journal of Logistics Management, v. 27, n. 3, p. 837-861, 2016.

SOLIANI, R. D.; ARGOUD, A. R. T. T.; SANTIAGO, F.; CAMARGO JUNIOR, J. B.; FREITAS, C. G.; LOBAO, M. S. P. Impacts of Collaborative Logistics: a Brazilian Brewing Sector Case Study. International Journal of Industrial Engineering and Management, v. 13, p. 97-107, 2022.


STERMAN, J. D.; DOGAN, G. I’m not hoarding, I’m just stocking up before the hoarders get here: Behavioral causes of phantom ordering in supply chains. Journal of Operations Management, v. 39–40, n. 1, p. 6–22, 2015.

STERMAN, J.; OLIVA, R.; LINDERMAN, K.; BENDOLY, E. System dynamics perspectives and modeling opportunities for research in operations management. Journal of Operations Management, v. 39–40, n. 1, p. 1–5, 2015.

SUNNY, J.; PILLAI, V. M.; NATH, H. V.; SHAH, K.; GHORADKAR, P. P.; PHILIP, M. J.; SHIRSWAR, M. Blockchain-enabled beer game: a software tool for familiarizing the application of blockchain in supply chain management. Industrial Management & Data Systems, v. 122, n. 4, p. 1025-1055, 2022.

THOMPSON, K. M.; BADIZADEGAN, N. D. Valuing information in complex systems: An integrated analytical approach to achieve optimal performance in the beer distribution game. IEEE access: Practical Innovations, Open Solutions, v. 3, p. 2677–2686, 2015.

TURNER, B. L.; GOODMAN, M.; MACHEN, R.; MATHIS, C.; RHOADES, R.; & DUNN, B. Results of Beer Game Trials Played by Natural Resource Managers Versus Students: Does Age Influence Ordering Decisions? Systems, v. 8, n. 37, 2020.

UTAMA, D. M.; SANTOSO, I.; HENDRAWAN, Y.; DANIA, W. A. P. Integrated procurement-production inventory model in supply chain: A systematic review. Operations Research Perspectives, v. 9, n. 100221, p. 100221, 2022.

VAN DEN BERG, M.; VOORDIJK, H.; ADRIAANSE, A.; HARTMANN, T. Experiencing supply chain optimizations: A serious gaming approach. Journal of Construction Engineering and Management, v. 143, n. 11, 2017.

VANITHA, V.; KRISHNAN, P.; ELAKKIYA, R. Collaborative optimization algorithm for learning path construction in E-learning. Computers & Electrical Engineering: An International Journal, v. 77, p. 325–338, 2019.

WARMELINK, H.; KOIVISTO, J.; MAYER, I.; VESA, M.; & HAMARI, J. Gamification of production and logistics operations: Status quo and future directions. Journal of Business Research, v. 106, p. 331–340, 2020.

WHITE, A. S.; BRODIE, L.; CENSLIVE, M. Application of perceptual control theory to a Beer Game supply chain model. Journal of Simulation: JOS, v. 17, n. 3, p. 360–380, 2023.

WISNER, J. D.; TAN, K. C.; LEONG, K. Principles of Supply Chain Management: A Balanced Approach. 6th ed. Cengage Learning,2022

YANG, Y.; LIN, J.; LIU, G.; ZHOU, L. (2021). The behavioural causes of bullwhip effect in supply chains: A systematic literature review. International Journal of Production Economics, v. 236, p. 108120.




How to Cite

Soliani, R. D., Pereira, R. dos S., de Freitas, C. G., & Pereira, F. S. (2024). Gamification in Supply Chain Management (SCM) education: a practical experience with the Beer Game. Caderno Pedagógico, 21(2), e2865.