It was another exceptional show of skill by members of Imperial Group company Resolve Solution Partners, during the final instalment of The Fresh Connection supply chain challenge in South Africa. This is the second well-deserved win for Resolve since the game’s introduction to South Africa five years ago by SAPICS (the Association for Operations Management of Southern Africa).

Over six weeks, teams representing 30 countries from more than 100 businesses compete in this annual cyber supply chain game, cited as one of the leading industry learning tools.

Resolve’s unrelenting squads took first, third and fourth positions in the South African leg of the competition, and surpassed expectations on the international front – taking ninth spot and ranking 44th out of 127 teams. Teams Deloitte Consulting and Beckman took second and fifth positions respectively.

Needing extraordinary SCM talent

Named after the virtual juice-producing company that teams aim to salvage, The Fresh Connection tests the skill and endurance of participants, managing complex supply chain scenarios that they are likely to encounter in real life.

“The game aims to promote critical thinking, scenario modelling and collaboration,” explains Resolve consultant and winning team captain Yusuf Patel. “Lacking any of these factors make it challenging to grow a business sustainably and holistically.”

Consumers don’t necessarily realise how complicated the mechanics that enable their daily convenience. “The variables at play – from production to packing to transport – are truly mind boggling,” he says. “Supply Chain Management (SCM) can be seen as the glue that binds these variables. The art of SCM, however, is joining these pieces to create win-win relationships for everyone involved – from the farmer to the customer.”

Effective communication and collaboration, Patel explains, are essential ingredients for a high performing supply chain. It’s these ingredients that took the team to triumph this year.  That and a “deep love of coffee” to get through the long nights, he jokes.

Though a simulation, the concepts and principles of The Fresh Connection are designed for application to real-world supply chains – making it an excellent learning tool for novices and professionals alike.

“The graduates in particular became more comfortable – making decisions in the game with confidence,” adds Patel. “They observed the knock-on effect and subsequently developed the ability to evolve their interactions with the business in a balanced and value-adding manner.”

Resolve’s team members were Yusuf Patel, Thomas Smith, Lomé Diederiks, Selby Diamond and Henk van Niekerk.

 

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