Introduction

The Cool Connection is an innovative web-based business simulation. 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.

How does The Cool Connection Work?

The Cool Connection immerses its participants in turning around a manufacturer of personal (hair) care products. Faced with declining performance, the management team must get the company back on track as soon as possible. It is a high-pressure environment in which effective (financial) supply chain management is the key to success.

 

The management team of The Cool Connection consists of four roles.

  • 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.

The participants will have to work closely together as a team to make strategic and tactical decisions. The negotiations with suppliers, customers, banks and credit insurers will take place under uncertain market conditions.

Every decision a participant makes has trade-offs, both within and across roles, so participants will only succeed if they align all the disciplines. As the simulation evolves it becomes clear that a supply chain strategy is essential for success – and that the strategy must be deployed to functional levels and below to be effective. Winning is about generating the best ROI for the business while still managing your own team’s Key Performance Indicators and targets. The Cool Connection is designed for any professional who works as part of cross-functional teams along the value chain. This can include:

  • Board Management
  • General managers
  • Operations managers
  • Treasury
  • Account managers
  • Relationship managers
  • Risk managers
  • Supply chain managers
  • Sales/Marketing managers
  • Financial managers
  • Procurement managers/buyers

To find out how The Cool Connection can work with your teams, contact us for a confidential assessment of your needs.

"An experience of a lifetime - The game converts you from being an analyst or engineer to being an artist. It's a fast forward version of years of experience: challenges, nightmares and thrills"
Sagar Neel De
MIT USA