The Cool Connection
Bridging physical and financial value chains

Experience how Working Capital Management is essential to a company's fundamental financial health. Take it to the next level by implementing a powerful planning process with our Integrated Business Planning variant.

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The Concept of Learning by doing

A Complex world requires experiential learning

A high-performing value chain requires collaboration from across the organization. Tearing down silos and creating the right cross-functional mindset can be a serious challenge. How do you prepare for success? Ideally, you’d like to experiment with different scenarios wherein people learn to overcome various obstacles. This is where we come in: through our business simulation games, participants have the unique opportunity to learn by experience by immediately putting complex theories into practice.

Advantages of experiential learning:

  • Highly Engaging
  • Constant & immediate feedback
  • Higher Learning Retention Rate
  • Ability to apply theory to practice
  • Real-world experience minus the risk
  • Promotion of teamwork and soft skills
  • Cost-effective

Why is The Cool Connection different?

For a subject as vital as Value Chain Management, it is not enough to tell people how it works. They must experience it. The Cool Connection is a different way of learning that puts participants at the heart of a lifelike simulation so they can experience the impact of every decision they make, not just in their own ‘silo’ but across the business.

By team experience, participants measure their performance and receive constant feedback from the certified trainer leading the business game. Between rounds, participants reflect on their decisions and the outcome. They are introduced to new concepts and then go back to put what they have learned to practice in the next round. It is this ‘Magic Circle’ that makes The Cool Connection so powerful.

Discover The Cool Connection

The Cool Connection is an innovative web-based business simulation game. It engages participants in making strategic decisions in the management of a manufacturing company of personal care products. Working in teams of four, participants will represent the functional roles of sales, purchasing, supply chain management and finance. They will be confronted with various real-life, real-time dilemmas. Cross-functional understanding and collaboration are key components, as teams work together to turn the company around.

Learning objectives

  • Bridging the physical and financial supply chain Key objective
  • Trade-offs in managing working capital Key objective
  • Alignment and cross functional collaboration are key Key objective
  • Experience the power of a professional and well-structured Integrated Business Planning (IBP) Key objective
  • Understand the importance and relevance of a supply chain strategy
  • Translate strategy into action
  • Learn to ‘speak the same language’ with other value chain partners, internally or externally
  • Supply Chain Risk Management
  • Build internal or external teams
  • Appreciate cross-functional trade-offs in the value chain
  • Learn how to manage risks in the supply chain in a coordinated way
  • Experience the power of a well-designed set of KPIs
  • Assess the implications of international trade
  • Learn about the benefits of a Supply Chain Finance solution

Game setup

Participants get to run their own virtual company called The Cool Connection, a manufacturer of personal care products. Faced with declining performance, the management team must get the company back on track. Your challenges can be to manage its working capital efficiently and effectively or to set up a cross functional IBP process. It’s a high-pressure environment in which effective value chain management is the key to success!

Online business simulation game

Cloud-based business game – can be delivered fully online, face to face, or a hybrid setting.

Teams of four virtually or face-to-face

Participants are grouped in teams of four. The teams are challenged to manage a virtual company and consider corporate strategy and business objectives.

Four VP roles

Each participant assumes one of the four available VP roles: VP Sales, VP Supply Chain Management, VP Finance, VP Purchasing.

Multiple levels and variants

Tailor Complexity to match any level from pre-graduate to senior executive. Set up the game to zoom in on specific topics. Create a volatile environment by triggering unexpected events.

Teams will experience the impact of every decision they make, not just in their own functional ‘silo’ but across their business, and the entire value chain!

The VP Sales

is responsible for defining the marketing strategies and the negotiation with a range of different types of customers. The negotiations include the service levels as well as for example INCO Terms.

The VP Purchasing

is responsible for defining the purchasing strategies and the selection of and the negotiation with suppliers from various regions. The negotiations include the service reliability but also INCO and payment terms.

The VP Supply Chain Management

is responsible for production and warehousing. By undertaking intelligent stock planning for components and products, the Supply Chain Manager can optimize both production process and working capital.

The VP Finance

is responsible for cash management and financing and negotiates with both banks and credit insurers. These negotiations include the allocation of collateral and the level of credit limits for customers.

Customize your experience!

The Cool Connection can be easily tailored to match your learning objectives. The complexity level, the topics, delivery format, and even number of rounds can be varied to suit your needs. Make the financial component easy to understand or make it very complex. The choice is yours!

Four “Basic” Levels

The levels are focused on Working Capital Management (flow of money and goods). There are limited set of entities and the complexity increases per level.

Five “thematic” Extensions

COMING SOON

The available extensions are credit limits, partner selection, collaboration, LSP, and KPI.

Specialized Variant

Integrated Business Planning (IBP): Integrate the financial and supply chain planning. This variant covers topics like forecasting and financial/supply chain budgeting.

Topics

Working Capital Management

Bridging the physical and financial value chain. The complexity increases per level:

  • Level 1 - Start with the basics and get to know the supply chain of The Cool Connection.
  • Level 2 - The working capital comes into play, including inventory management, accounts payable, and accounts receivable.
  • Level 3 - Experience the impact of INCO terms on customer and supplier relationships.
  • Level 4 – Create a stronger value chain by focusing on supplier financing programming (SFP).

Integrated Business Planning

Focuses on the integration of financial and supply chain planning by implementing a powerful planning process.

  • Your challenge is to create a new annual financial budget for the company with as few as possible gaps between planning and reality.
  • Each round focuses on creating a financial forecast for each quarter and setting up a yearly budget.
  • Alignment between all departments is key to avoid any forecasting gaps.

User interface

The Cool Connection’s simulation software has been designed to be easy to use for anyone, on any platform from PC to tablet. There is no need to read a hefty manual before starting, because all help information is integrated in the game-screens and can be read on a need to know basis.