The hidden gem of Unilever’s Procurement Week – an immersive supply chain business game!

March 2, 2023 Share the story:

"Supply chain management is a team sport. In an experience like ours, you are constantly reminded that you are part of a whole. The fact that learners see how their actions really matter in the bigger picture, creates a steep learning curve."

Hans Kremer
co-founder of Inchainge
and master trainer of The Fresh Connection

In 2022, Inchainge had the incredible opportunity to be a part of Unilever's Procurement Week—a three-day program that brought together 80 procurement professionals, from entry to senior positions, from across Europe, involving them in an immersive training experience with the chance to experiment, learn and exchange ideas. The program consisted of several sessions and deep dives on different topics from experienced employees or experts.

On the third day, Inchainge took center stage with a true game-changer. Literally! Hans Kremer introduced the participants to Inchainge's most established business simulation game – The Fresh Connection, designed to unveil the intricacies of the end-to-end supply chain and showcase the pivotal role of procurement within it. The Unilever employees took over The Fresh Connection which is a virtual orange juice manufacturing company with the goal to bring it back on track. And guess what, it fit like a glove!

"Unilever and The Fresh Connection’s business cases are similar, so participants could relate to the business game. Having to deal with retail, perishable food products with a limited shelf life, etc., made it a good fit and we could also tailor the training scenario by adding some of the theoretical frameworks they wanted to bring across throughout the program." Hans Kremer photo Hans Kremer
co-founder of Inchainge
and master trainer of The Fresh Connection

The Fresh Connection was the connecting puzzle piece that seamlessly brought together all the knowledge and insights gained over the first two days.

"What the learners really appreciated - and we hear that very often from different training programs that we run - is that the cross-functional business game brought the different bits and pieces of the supply chain puzzle together. At Unilever, it was like a breath of fresh air, helping participants to solidify and practice the gained knowledge." Noah Schaul photo Noah Schaul
Director of Corporate Training at Inchainge

In teams of four, participants delved into the dynamic world of managing cross-functional departments within the virtual company, igniting their strategic thinking and fostering the much- needed alignment.

"After we explained what people had gotten themselves into with running this virtual company [as I sometimes jokingly say], the room became quiet because everyone was drawn into the simulation and started deepening their understanding of this new working environment. After about 15 minutes, the buzz came back in the room because all the team members started sharing what they found with each other – what issues were going on in their departments, what strategies they should adopt and how to continue with this challenge." - Hans Kremer

The Fresh Connection tore down the barriers of silo thinking, empowering participants to witness firsthand the power of alignment and collaboration. It sparked a sense of unity, highlighting the risks and issues that arise from isolated decision-making and emphasizing the transformative potential of holistic procurement strategies.

"What I see a lot in our trainings, even though senior people should be aware of that, learners still sometimes fight fires and stick to their own functional area. And what is great with our training is that you can instantly see, and in a safe environment, what positive and negative outcomes that behavior brings" - Hans Kremer

Besides the incredible learning experience, the top teams received a special award – entry to Inchainge’s “Supply Chain Olympics” – The Global Pro Final! Unilever’s teams got the chance to face off against the best supply chain teams in the world in another challenging learning journey with The Fresh Connection!

Looking for an electrifying, thought-provoking, and game-changing addition to your supply chain training program, workshop, or conference? Our business games might be the hidden gem you are looking for!

"It is easy to pat yourself on the back, but we as Inchainge we do quite a good job when it comes to finding what learning goals the client wants to achieve, what audience we want to appeal to. It is about finding that sweet spot of the right complexity that inspires learners to give it their all." - Hans Kremer

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.