The Game-Changer: Supply Chain Canada Teams Up with ‘The Fresh Connection’

January 16, 2024 Share the story:

Imagine diving deep into a business world, where the dynamics of a game merge with the promise of professional growth. Welcome to the collaboration between Supply Chain Canada and business simulation game, The Fresh Connection.

Here’s a peek into this exciting journey!


Top 3 teams of Leadership Residency unveiled


The Big Event: Leadership Residency Unveiled!

Supply Chain Canada isn’t just another name in professional development. They’re the brains behind the coveted SCMP designation, a certification that spells leadership in bold.

This year, they took things up a notch. Over a dynamic week and a half, they hosted an online leadership residency evaluation. Picture this: 130+ enthusiasts from every Canadian corner, coming together online. Directors, managers, buyers – all tuned in.


“It’s not just about the learning.”


Lisa Holmes, Executive Assistant at Supply Chain Canada, shared:
“People in Canada value the SCMP designation. It’s not just about the learning. When you hold that SCMP title, it can potentially lead to promotions, and statistically, it might mean a 20% bump in your salary. This isn’t just any title — it’s prestigious.

“People pour hours into it, balancing work, family, and classes. By the time they reach the leadership residency, it’s like the final lap – the grand finale of all their dedication and effort.”


Supply Chain Canada is a nationwide association, in existence for more than 104 years. They are the principal source of supply chain training, education, and professional development in Canada.


Gaming Meets Real-World Strategy

This year, Supply Chain Canada wanted something innovative for their evaluations. Enter ‘The Fresh Connection’ — more than just a game, it was a digital platform where participants from across Canada could engage and connect.

Lisa recounts the anticipation leading up to the event, “We had several in-depth discussions with Inchainge. They walked us through the game, its mechanics, and what we could expect.

“We passed that excitement onto our students, trying to ignite their enthusiasm. Initially, there might have been some hesitation, but the feedback post-event was overwhelmingly positive.


 “It provided an opportunity for networking and teamwork


“She continued, “We sent out a survey post-leadership residency, and apart from that, received personal messages from many participants.

“They found ‘The Fresh Connection’ to be an excellent simulation, a genuine test of their skills. Some even wished for longer debrief sessions!

“Importantly, it provided an opportunity for networking and teamwork, allowing participants to step out of their usual roles and interact with peers they might not have met otherwise.

“It was great to see such a positive response. Our confidence in Inchainge was rewarded; they truly exceeded our expectations.”


Top 3 teams of the Leadership Residency progress to the Global PRO Final, the #1 SCM Challenge in the world


Collaboration: The Heart of Learning

One massive takeaway is networking. Lisa observed, “The game broke down barriers. Participants teamed up, four in each group. They strategized, learned, and imagined their future in the real business world.”


“The game broke down barriers.”


Highlighting a standout feature, Lisa added, “The emphasis of ‘The Fresh Connection’ is on collaboration and networking. This game provides the perfect platform for participants to break away from the silos they may experience in their individual roles.

“The setup encourages them to collaborate with peers from different provinces and backgrounds. This mix ensured diversity in thinking and approach. And the beauty? They learned, grew, and even got to ‘stretch their legs’ in roles they might not encounter in their daily jobs.”


The winning team of the Leadership Residency sharing their excitement with Noah Schaul, Director Corporate Training at Inchainge.


Building on that, Lisa emphasized that The Fresh Connection wasn’t industry-restricted. “Whether you’re selling tech gadgets or fruit juice, the fundamentals of supply chain management remain universal.

“It wasn’t just about specific job titles or sectors. Instead, it underscores the universal applicability of supply chain management principles and how invaluable these skills are across various industries.”


Understanding Through Application

In discussing the real-world application of ‘The Fresh Connection’, Lisa drew a compelling comparison, “It’s one thing to learn about various aspects of supply chain management. But it’s another to bring all that knowledge into a cohesive strategy in a practical scenario.


It was about taking those ‘book smarts’ and combining them with ‘practical smarts’.


“Our participants were given the challenge of turning around a struggling business. This meant they had to rapidly make decisions, drawing from everything they’ve learned. The game allowed them to combine both their theoretical knowledge and practical insights, putting them to immediate use in a dynamic environment.

Summing it up, Lisa added, “It was about taking those ‘book smarts’, combining them with ‘practical smarts’, and witnessing the transformation. The feedback? They wished they had more time. And that’s a testament to the game’s impact.”


The ‘Real’ in the Virtual: The Fresh Connection’s Impact

Curious about the game’s real-world impact? Lisa draws a vivid picture, “if you get new software in your company you want to be able to play around before you actually go live.

“So, I think ‘The Fresh Connection’ offered our participants this sandbox. They could demo some of their skills and learnings without doing damage in real life.”

She continued with a spark, “I would say, 99% of the comments we got back showed they were engaged. They liked it!” The mission? Transform a business, make it thrive, and profit. It pushed everyone to think bigger and aim higher.


Presention of the Award Ceremony online at the Leadership Residency by Hans Kremer, Partner at Inchainge


Conclusion: A Universal Takeaway

Ending on a powerful note, Lisa reflected, “The principles you master in our workshops and modules, they’re timeless. Be it fashion, tech, food – the essence remains unchanged.” Every industry has its own unique rhythm, but at its core? The foundational principles remain constant.

Supply Chain Canada’s partnership with ‘The Fresh Connection’ has clearly been a game-changer for professional development. Recognizing the value of immersive experiential learning, they’re gearing up for another exciting collaboration with Inchainge in 2024.

For all the Canadian professionals out there aiming to elevate their skills, we warmly invite you to become part of this transformative experience. This unique blend of gaming and real-world strategy is not just limited to those in the supply chain sector. We hope that other organizations will also be inspired to explore such innovative training methodologies. After all, the ways we learn and grow are ever-evolving.

The collaboration of Supply Chain Canada and ‘The Fresh Connection’ wasn’t just an event; it was an immersive learning journey. With another round already on the horizon for next year, the question remains: Are you game?


For more information check out the 2024 SCMP Leadership Residency



How to Gain One Year of Supply Chain Experience in Two Days

Imagine being thrown into the deep end of a supply chain challenge, where you’re tasked with making critical decisions that could make or break your company. The pressure is on, but the stakes are low because you’re in a simulated environment. This is the power of experiential learning through business simulation games.

Experience SCM with The Fresh Connection

Want to know more about the challenge of The Fresh Connection? Learn more from the video.