Team-based Business Simulation
Developing Collaboration Skills
The Fresh Connection is an interactive team-based business simulation which provides an exceptional means for learning how to lead a business by practicing collaboration and consensus building.
We know the pilot is in charge of an airplane, but only after many hours in a flight simulator.
Who’s in charge of your supply chain? Have they ever experienced a simulation teaching them what works and what doesn’t?
Is it time to gain an intense understanding of complex relationships, sharpen your skills, tear down functional silos, and learn what does not work – without crashing your business?
“You don’t just jump into a fighter jet to tear around the sky before making a spectacular crash landing.” – Timon Martin, Flight Simulation Guru
“This is an excellent platform for learning the importance of collaboration across the extended supply chain.” – Peter Surtees, Director of European Supply Chain for Kimberly-Clark
“The Fresh Connection is a challenging test of decision making, commercial awareness, and learning agility that requires each individual to understand the impact of their role and actions on the profitability of the whole business.” – Adam Lockwood, Supply Development Manager for Mars UK
Imagine Your New Job
Imagine a situation in which you have just joined the leadership team for a company where costs are out of control and customer expectations are not being met.
You have one of the following roles:
- VP of Sales
- VP of Operations
- VP of Purchasing
- VP of Supply Chain
Your new company has been in business for over a century. However, recent performance has been poor; ROI has been negative, and the board of directors is nervous.
Problems Are Everywhere
This does not seem to be the same place they described during your job interview.
The daily sales and operations meeting covers the same agenda with the following issues:
- Inventory fluctuates from way too high one week to severe shortages the next
- Suppliers are unpredictable, serving up daily surprises of quality and delivery problems
- Operations always seems to be changing over the equipment or making the wrong stuff
- Customers are tired of the poor service and demanding lower prices – or else!
The CEO has challenged you to improve customer service and increase ROI. These are the two measurements which the board of directors feels are most important. If improvement is not quick, then heads will roll.
To make it even more difficult, your competitors are not sitting back. They are seeking to take full advantage of this opportunity to defeat you and your company.
Given this stressful and fast moving environment, you wonder if you have the knowledge to save not only this company, but also save your own career!
“One of the many great aspects of The Fresh Connection is its ability to present the importance of structured communication and demonstrate the cost of not communicating effectively.” – Ali Leghaei, Chief Financial Officer for MRL Logistics
What’s This About?
The Fresh Connection is an interactive team-based business simulation:
- Teams of four, or five, work together to save a failing company
- Each team member will select one of five roles: purchasing, operations, sales, supply chain, or project manager
- Participants make strategic executive level decisions in a high-pressure environment
- Every decision has trade-offs, both within and across the functional roles
- Participants learn about best practices and emerging trends through hands-on experience
- Collaboration and consensus building skills are developed as teams compete across multiple rounds
The successful team will craft the best strategy and align all four functional disciplines. Winning is about generating the best ROI while meeting your own Key Performance Indicators.
“I was totally addicted to my role as VP of Sales and could not wait to collaborate with my teammates to improve our performance and beat our competitors. This was an educational experience exceeding my wildest imaginations.” – Mike Loughrin, CEO for Transformance Advisors
“The Fresh Connection is a great learning tool which makes you think like an executive. You must link supply chain strategy to the business strategy and deal with the financial ramifications of your decisions.” – Paul Vanderspek, Clinical Faculty Supply Chain Management for Colorado State University
Learning through experience is 10 times more powerful than classical training. The Fresh Connection is a different way of learning which puts participants at the heart of a lifelike simulation so they can experience the impact of every decision they make.
By participating in multiple rounds, participants see the results of their decisions, reflect on what happened, are introduced to new concepts, and then apply what they learned in the next round.
It is this “Magic Circle” that makes The Fresh Connection so powerful.
“The best part about The Fresh Connection experience was the rapid-fire troubleshooting conversations with my team mates. We knew we were up against very talented competitors, and had to think hard and fast about solving the problems. Gaining alignment of all functional areas has never been so much fun!” – Cate Lawrence, Principal of Lawrence Research Associates
“The Fresh Connection is an exceptional tool for gaining a deeper understanding of the cross-functional collaboration which must occur for organizations to compete and win.” – Ally Conrad, Events Manager for Transformance Advisors
Who Will Benefit?
Just about everyone, in any organization, will benefit from experiencing The Fresh Connection. The most obvious are:
- Anyone who comes into contact with customers or suppliers
- Anyone who impacts the flow of materials or information
- Those with experience seeking to learn about best practices and emerging trends
- Information technology professionals who build and support the systems used for managing a supply chain
- Those who will be part of improvement initiatives such as creating a sustainable organization or implementing an ERP system
- Those just getting started in the field of supply chain management