The Juice Capacity Game: An Excel Based Simulation


  • Chris Scherpereel Northern Arizona University


The operations management discipline has long incorporated experiential exercises into their curriculum. However, many of these exercises require direct hands-on interactions during face-to-face instruction. The most popular of these exercises include variations on the Forester’s beer game simulation (focused on supply chain communication), the Deming’s bead activity (focused on quality control), and the Goldratt’s matchstick experiment (focused on system variability and bottlenecks). Many attempts have been made to create computer simulations of these activities, but their ability to deliver a similar learning experience to the original in class activity has limited both their development and usage. COVID 19 in early 2020 had a drastic impact to face-to-face course delivery and the ability of faculty to deliver a similar experience in online and hybrid modalities This renewed motivation encouraged the development of the Juice Capacity Game (JCG) based on Goldratt’s matchstick experiment. Using Excel VBA as the development platform, I created JCG to help students better understand capacity related operations management concepts and demonstrate the impact of dependent events, statistical fluctuations, and constraints on capacity in a flow process.