Supply Chain Management–Game Dynamics


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(1) Six Sigma: A set of tools and methods for reducing errors in manufacturing or other business areas.

With Six Sigma, we carefully identify the causes of errors and then find a better way to do things.

(2) Efficiency: The cost and effort needed to do something.

The efficiency of the factory improved a lot with the new motivational techniques.

(3) Inefficiency: A specific thing that is stopping better efficiency.

The largest inefficiency in the system was simply overworking the employees. Tired workers are bad workers.



1. How might game dynamics be used in supply chain management?

a. To motivate

b. To make work fun

c. To make work faster

2. What is status?

a. Your level compared to others

b. Your order in a game

c. The color of your belt

3. How does Six Sigma use status?

a. It labels workers with belt levels

b. Workers wear different belts at work

c. The champion gives out belts

7 ________________________



Six_sigma By Jeremy Schaar

Efficiency is at the center of supply chain management. Moving goods around the world is easy. The challenge is to move them in ways that are cheaper and faster than your competitors.

This week on Stuart Mill English, I’m featuring game dynamics and exploring what that means for different areas of business. Today, I’ll review the concept of game dynamics and discuss how they are used in supply chain management.

Game dynamics are the game-like forces that influence us. Therefore, if we think of a supply chain as a game, we might think of ways to motivate and influence the parts of the chain.

One important game dynamic is status. That is, people feel better when they’re given a title or a special role. In a game, this might mean that the player with the most status gets to go first. Marketers use status to promote products. For example, a credit card company might give you a special color credit card.

The status game dynamic plays a central role in Six Sigma. If you don’t know about Six Sigma, it’s a method for increasing efficiency in production. The company tries to reduce errors until they’re extremely rare. It began with Motorola in the 1980s and became very famous when Jack Welch adopted it at GE in the 1990s.

Six Sigma uses the game dynamic of status by assigning “belts” to employees who work on Six Sigma. These people work hard to find and reduce inefficiencies within the factory. Those who are just helpers with the program are Green Belts. Full-time Six Sigma workers are Black Belts or Master Black Belts. Above them are Champions.

Now, I didn’t really explain Six Sigma with much detail, but I’m sure that you want to be a Champion or a Master Black Belt more than you want to be a Green Belt. But, you’d probably rather be a Green Belt than nothing at all. That’s the power of status. It inspires people to want to be more, to do more, to have more.

So, that’s a famous example of how a game dynamic is used in Supply Chain Management. How about at your company?

Got questions or comments? How about practicing some new vocabulary and posting your thoughts on the blog, Facebook, or Twitter?


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