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22 Dicembre, 2021

McCormick team “L.E.S.S. is juice”

Luca Allegri

Luca Allegri

Demand Analyst for both Giotti’s Italian sites – McCormick Group

Simone Gambassi

Material and Product Planning Manager in Giotti – McCormick Group

Sandra Scollo

Planning Manager with managing of finished/semifinished products and procurement of components and row materials in Giotti – McCormick Group

Elisabetta Della Nave

Demand Analyst in Giotti – McCormick Group

JPS interviewed the McCormick’s team that attended the “The Fresh Connection Global PRO Final 2021”, competing with the best Supply Chain talents from all over the world.

Global PRO Final 2021

Last month, The Fresh Connection Global Pro Final 21 made some of the best Supply Chain Management talents from all over the world challenge each other, to gain the title of 2021 World Champion.

The prize was an ExecEd SCM course at the MIT, Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Every year JPS, Inchainge partner for Italy, offers public and private courses for Supply Chain professionals that want to measure their Supply Chain skills and knowledge through the business simulation The Fresh Connection. Top performers gain the possibility to participate to the prestigious global challenge, through intermediate qualification rounds.

In November, the McCormick team “L.E.S.S. is juice” won the entry ticket to the Finals.

We interviewed the four participants to listen to their voices on this extraordinary experience. This year theme was: “Risk & Resilience”.

The Fresh Connection

The Fresh Connection is a business experience, a challenge in which there is a Supply Chain to be rethought. This is not a traditional training, but rather a “learning by doing” event: participants, guided by their trainer, can concretely practice and apply theoretical concepts through an active, dynamic and true to reality experience of the professional context in which they work every day.

The learning experience is based on a digital twin, that reproduces the dynamics of a poor performing manufacturing company – in this case a fruit juices producer – and its supply chain. Participants work in groups of four: each team includes a Vice President for Sales, Supply Chain, Operations and Purchasing.

Defining new agreements with customer and suppliers, reviewing product portfolio, optimizing material flows and inventory policies, resizing capacity according to demand and increasing efficiencies with improvement projects are some of the possibilities for the participants to increase both profitability and returns on investments.

The Fresh Connection makes everyone aware that performance is not a one man show like in the real world, each participant will take decisions for his own function but better results will be achieved only if they’ll be coordinated with colleagues and aligned to a common and shared strategy.

The Fresh Connection is a unique tool to develop a deep understanding on how powerful cross functional integration is to break silos between company functions and generate virtuous collaborative processes: the base for a training to determine a tangible business impact.

Interview to McCormick team

Congratulations for gaining the possibility to participate to the Global Challenge, playing with professionals from all over the world. Did you enjoy the virtual event?

It’s been a stimulating and funny experience! It gave us the possibility to confront ourselves with other teams, ideas, and other business objectives. We learnt new things, changed point of view, used innovative instruments, deepened the relationship with colleagues and had fun.

The Fresh Connection is a business simulation in which participants have the unique opportunity to learn by experience, by putting complex Supply Chain management theories into practice: do you think it is an effective experiential learning? What did you like most?

It has been very interesting the possibility to test “on the edge” decisions, (which we would never have taken in real life) and see immediately the results. Furthermore, it has been stimulating the chance to cover a different role compared to the one we cover in our organization. Having a different perspective helps you to understand how much others’ decisions affect other sectors.

This experience highlighted how important is to make choices consistent with a common strategy and how much the alignment between functions, rather than individual good choices, contribute to the goal. We believe that the simulation is a very good instrument that supports decision making; in this case, what we appreciated more has been the rapidity of impact evaluation of a mix of actions on global results.

The 2021 Global Challenge theme was Risk and Resilience. What did you learn on this topic through The Fresh Connection?

To always consider the availability of alternative solutions, to guarantee business continuity. To reconsider our choices and be openminded to change them, if no longer adequate to the circumstances.

The Fresh Connection, as a high-performing value chain, requires collaboration between people. Tearing down silos and creating the right cross-functional mindset can be a serious challenge. Which is your concrete experience and what did you experiment during the business simulation, maybe covering roles that you usually do not cover in your company?

We have been able to experiment the possibility to have more confidence in areas in which we are not the owners, the related challenges, and above all the consequences of rushed decisions, taken without the time to pre-analyse in detail the consequences. We also understood the power of sharing, valuable to take common decisions in line with common objectives. And we experimented it! We understood that each one, with a different point of view, background, and inspiration, can contribute to improve even very distant areas in terms of competence. It remains the awareness that this is a very complex challenge: it requires a big open-mindedness of the actors involved, that is not, unfortunately, to be taken for granted.

What do you bring home from this experience as a team and as individual?

We bring home an excellent team building work, and that the exchange of opinions on impactful decisions is always winning. Undoubtedly satisfying the possibility to cover different roles. We also learnt a lot from mistakes. If choices are shared, results and (if they happen) failures are shared too. We learnt that it is not useful to look for a scapegoat, but it is better to concentrate the energy in the definitions of corrective actions.

Would you recommend the business simulation to your colleagues? If yes, which suggestion would you give them?

I would definitely recommend it, I would suggest trying to take impactful decisions, even though agreed and finalised. Sometimes the consequences are not the ones we expect. Choices of this type are hardly taken in the real world; the business simulation could be an excellent training ground. We would recommend them to fully live this experience, as an opportunity for a personal and professional growth. To be focused on the results, but free from performance anxiety and fears of the unknown, which make difficult to maximise the benefit of this adventure.

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