Supply Chain Management

This workshop has been canceled due to the COVID-19 outbreak. The course will be rescheduled to a later time.

Instructor: Michael D. Ford
Date: Thursday April 16, 2020
Time: 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. (morning snack and lunch provided)
Location: Innovative Technologies Complex (ITC), ES 2008, Binghamton University, 85 Murray Hill Rd, Vestal, NY 13850
Credentials: You will earn a micro-credential in Supply Chain Management foundations and receive the Supply Chain Management foundations digital badge if you complete the course by passing the course assignment at the end of the day. A certificate of course completion will be issued to all course participants.
Who can take this course: This workshop is open to all engineers, professionals and students.



The Beer Game (a production/distribution simulation) was developed by Jay Forrester at MIT's Sloan business school in the early 1960s. It is a simple yet realistic simulator of the supply chain and is used as a teaching tool for systems dynamics. It has been played all over the world by thousands of people ranging from high school students to chief executive officers and government officials.

Each participant plays a role in the production and distribution of a product, in this case beer. Their objective is to manage inventory to simultaneously achieve optimal customer service while minimizing inventory, which turns out to be a challenging task. Players will:

  • gain an appreciation of the supplier/customer relationship
  • learn the importance of supply chain visibility
  • appreciate the impact of lead times.

Most significantly, they learn how their decisions have an impact on the supply chain as a whole.

Additionally, this workshop will highlight the following supply chain best practices:

  • replacing forecasts with actual demand
  • smoothing variability utilizing max/min ordering
  • disintermediation of non-value added supply chain nodes

Note: participants are not required to bring anything (laptops, cell phones, notepads, conference portfolios, pens/pencils) as everything they need will be provided at the tables. The tables hold “game boards” that do not allow room for anything, including drinks and/or food.


  • 8 – 8:30 a.m.: Registration and Continental Breakfast
  • 8:30 – 9 a.m.: Facilitator, Participant and Topic Introductions
  • 9:00 a.m. – 12 p.m.: “The Beer Game”
  • 12 – 12:45 p.m.: Working Lunch
  • 12:45 – 2 p.m.: The Demand/Supply Network
  • 2 – 2:15 p.m.: Break
  • 2:15 – 3:30 p.m.: Collaborative Planning
  • 3:30 – 4 p.m.: Summary Q&A


Michael D. Ford (M.S.I.S.E., CFPIM, CSCP, CLTD, CQA, CRE, CQE, ACPF, CPSM, CSSGB) is a supply chain expert with TQM Works Consulting. He provides innovative solutions, based on 30 years of experience in retail, distribution, manufacturing, and consulting.  His work history includes software implementation, business planning, inventory control, distribution planning, and corporate training.  This includes a broad range of experience from ETO (Engineer to Order) to MTS (Make to Stock), as well as nonprofits, service, and Department of Defense. He has presented at over 350 industry events throughout the U.S., Canada, Japan, Nigeria, South Africa and Australia, and he has provided over 5,000 hours of classroom training, averaging 4.5/5.0 on evaluations. Ford combines his technical expertise with personal skills, to develop a unique “outside the box” approach to life’s challenges.  He is a charismatic speaker who specializes in delivering training that is “edu-taining.” 


  • $295: Standard/Industry Rate (Group rates available, see below)
  • $195: BU faculty/staff/Alumni (Graduated May 2019 or earlier)
  • $95: Binghamton University Students and recent Alumni (Graduated December 2019 or later)

Group rates for industry available (2-4 participants, 5-9 participants, 10 and up)

For group rates contact the Office of Industrial Outreach at 607-777-6241 or


All cancellations must be received in writing by Tuesday, April 14 by 5 pm to receive a refund. No refunds for cancellations or non-attendance will be given after 5 pm on that date.

Substitutions may be made any time before a certain date by informing the Office of Industrial Outreach.

A $20 refund fee will be applied to all refunds requested by registrants.

If the course is canceled by the organizers, enrollees will be advised and receive a full refund.