Case Study

Mews Partners Engages Clients with the Beer Game

The international management consulting firm no longer manually conducts the Beer Game simulation, in order to focus on the serious game experience — during the game itself and beyond.

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Selecting The Beergame App

Mews Partners is an independent management consulting firm with 150 consultants based in six countries around the globe, carrying out operational strategy and performance projects with clients in industry, retail, financial services sectors. They take pride in their industry expertise, human values, pragmatism and innovative methods, not only for their clients’ success, but also for their own consultants’ development and growth.

The firm determined that the Beer Game would be a useful tool for killing three birds with one stone. First, for the internal training of its own consultants on Supply Chain planning stakes. Next, for its educational activities within schools and universities and, last but certainly not least, for clients. Mews selected the simulator in order to assist with team-building exercises as well as instruct participants on Supply Chain intricacies and stakes, such as the Bullwhip Effect and the need for collaboration to ensure efficiency.

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The need for a new take on a classic serious game

Even though Mews had already integrated the beer distribution game, a classic simulation developed at MIT in the 1960s, they were conducting it via Excel spreadsheets and Post-Its. This long and cumbersome process also made it impossible to host large groups and/or in remote settings. Particularly in the current global predicament, the firm needed a more modern gameplay experience if they wanted to continue using the beer game for kicking off client projects in a positive and engaging way.

"We used to perform beer game sessions using post-its and excel macros built internally, but each session ended up long and complicated to organize. The Beergame App allows us to run games more smoothly, and to display our brand and expertise with digital tools."

Florent Tonneville - Senior Manager, Mews Partners

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Seamless integration, functional game features and instant debriefing

Because Mews conducts the beer game regularly (every two months on average), The Beergame App’s Annual Premium plan was the perfect match. Perfect for continuous improvement training at large companies or organizations, as well as consultancy offers, this plan provides all advanced features for unlimited participants.

It was also important for the consultants to customize the game in order to ensure that the simulation was adapted to each client specificities and the constraints/stakes of their respective industry. In addition, Mews’ consultants always collaborate with a large variety of functions within the organization, so they needed to mix and assign roles in order to give each player a fresh and new perspective of the tailored supply chain.

In providing further improvements upon the old way of simulating the experience, the Beer Game automatically produces game data and visualizations. This seamless and instant information delivers instructors all they need for post-game discussion and helping their teams come to necessary conclusions from a single point of truth.

"We typically try to shuffle the participants positions in the game vs. their actual role in the organization. The sales or marketing staff will be assigned the Factory role, and conversely the manufacturing teams would play as Retailer or Distributor. This allows the participants to catch the challenges faced by their internal suppliers/customers and be more comprehensive in their daily posture. The app helps us set this up easily, even in a remote situation and for larger groups."

Florent Tonneville - Senior Manager, Mews Partners

Added value for both consultants and client teams

The immediate benefit of integrating the Beer Game is largely cosmetic — but no less important. For a company like Mews, who promises an innovative and modern approach to its work, the professional look-and-feel of the app’s UX reflects well on the firm’s own prestigious image.

Practically speaking, the game experience itself allows the instructor to address a wide variety of topics, such as basic forecasting, planning and inventory management, as well as more complex issues, such as Supply Chain design, strategy and organization.

Beyond this, the Beer Game helps to encourage all participants to reflect on their own business processes, sparks new ideas for group brainstorming sessions, and opens up discussion on topics and opportunities previously unaddressed. Meanwhile, Mews consultants are better able to grasp and act upon client challenges as well as help junior consultants further develop their self-confidence and knowledge base for improved performance in later missions.

One of the most important results for all stakeholders from conducting an engaging serious game experience such as the Beer Game is that it immediately establishes positive relations. The game provides an enjoyable and relaxed environment for both consultants and client employees to get to know each other. This helps establish a strong working relationship, so critical to the success of the entire operation.

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To recap

Mews Partners and their clients are able to customize and seamlessly integrate The Beergame App to provide an instantly useful simulation for optimized project kick-off sessions, as well as university and internal training. The game helps to illuminate both challenges and solutions within operational processes and helps consultants guide their partners to future success through a positive and encouraging approach.

About Mews Partners

Mews Partners is an independent management consulting firm of 150 consultants with €30M in turnover in 2020. They carry out projects of operational strategy and performance with clients from the industry, retail and financial services. Their approach combines sectoral expertise, human values and innovative methods. Pragmatism and excellence define them. For nearly 30 years, Mews Partners spirit has been moving forward together with their consultants and clients. Driven by a strong growth, they currently have 6 offices: Paris, Toulouse, Munich, Hamburg, Montreal and Sydney. Opening new subsidiaries internationally and developing new expertise and offers are at the heart of their development strategy.