Danish students victorious in The Fresh Connection

Thu, 07 Mar 2013 13:44:00 GMT

The Huddersfield Vikings use business nous and financial expertise to win SCALA’s The Fresh Connection

The winning team

Pictured above left to right: John Perry (SCALA), Katrine Pedersen, University lecturer David Leach, Nicolai Nielsen, Jakob Hannecke, Mads Soegaard, Maria Andersen and Simon Malins (BorgWarner)

THEY called themselves The Vikings – a group of Danish students at the University of Huddersfield who were determined to be victorious in a tense contest.  And they were.  But their weapons were business nous and financial expertise. 

Every year since 2011, final-year students in the Strategic Supply Chain Management degree course at the University’s Business School have formed groups to part in a sophisticated computer game called The Fresh Connection

‌Marketed in the UK by the Huddersfield-based consultancy firm SCALA, the game revolves around a fictional fruit juice company that is running at a loss and confronted by a wide range of business problems. 

The Fresh Connection game Teams which play The Fresh Connection must attempt to turn the company around and return it to profit. 

‌The game is widely seen in the business world as a powerful training tool and the University of Huddersfield was the first in the UK to embed The Fresh Connection into its courses. 

“It is very sophisticated and quite dynamic,” says Jayne Hemmingham, who is Senior Lecturer and Admissions Tutor in the Business School’s Division of Transport, Logistics and Tourism. 

Her students on the Strategic Supply Chain Management course form into groups of five – there were 16 teams in 2013 – and all players assume different strategic roles in the virtual company.  There are six rounds, each representing a six-month period, and the complexities increase as the game progresses, week by week. 

“It is all very much about trade-offs, illustrating the point that decision taking in one area has an impact on another area, so there must be constant balance,” said Jayne Hemmingham.

 The Fresh Connection game takes place over a six-week period and the winning team is the one that has shown the best investment return.  This year The Vikings were consistently good performers and by the end of round six they had shown a 10.74 per cent return. 

The team members are Nicolai Nielsen, Jakob Hannecke, Mads Soegaard, Maria Andersen and Katrine Pedersen.  All from Denmark, they have been studying for a top-up year on the Supply Chain Management with Logistics degree course. 

BorgWarner logo As winners, they receive a trophy and a £100 prize, sponsored by multi-national technology firm BorgWarner Turbo Systems, which has a plant in Bradford. 

‌Simon Malins, Business Development Manager for BorgWarner, expressed the company's delight with‌ being the sponsor: “This is an excellent training tool that teaches the importance of a team approach to understanding and resolving what are complex business decisions. The experience gained by students participating in the game will be a valuable asset when they take up their first appointments in business”. 

Overseas students ... the strongest performers 

Overall, six of the teams who took part in the 2013 contest managed to return The Fresh Connection firm to profit.  Overseas students were among the strongest performers.  The second-placed team was named SSCP Consultants, consisting mainly of students from Eastern Europe – Conrad Maramba, Anna Handke, Sandra Bodurkiewicz, Barbara Chilmon and Robert Muchowski. 

SCALA logo The consultancy firm SCALA is delighted that the University of Huddersfield is a UK leader in utilising Fresh Connection as an educational aid.

 The firm’s founder and managing director John Perry said: “The game provides an interactive and hands-on experience giving the students a real insight into and understanding of aligning business and supply chain strategies, the trade-offs in the supply chain and ultimately the financial impact supply chain decisions have on overall business profitability.  It is a real plus to their supply chain and logistics degree modules that helps ensure students are even better prepared for their moves on into the commercial world.” 



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