French And South African Rivalry Moves From Rugby Field To The Boardroom

7th March 2018

The fierce competition between South Africa and France will move from the rugby field to the business arena next month. Supply chain professionals from the two nations are set to clash in a business simulation game that demands a flawless strategy and tactics to save a virtual juice company, The Fresh Connection, from financial ruin.

“The Fresh Connection Challenge” is an innovative business simulation that is delivering big benefits for companies around the world. Developed in the Netherlands nine years ago, it was launched in South Africa in 2010 by leading Southern African supply chain and operations management association SAPICS. “To date, The Fresh Connection has been experienced by more than 12 000 professionals in 600 companies and 12 000 students in 100 universities across the world,” reveals SAPICS president Mungo Park. “Businesses benefiting from The Fresh Connection include Fortune 500 multinational manufacturing businesses,” he states.

This latest challenge, hosted in Johannesburg by SAPICS, will focus on the application and benefits of Demand Driven Materials Requirement Planning (DDMRP) in supply chain and operations management. Park elaborates: “There has been a lot of hype in recent years about DDMRP. To highlight what it really is and what it means for business, SAPICS decided to offer a series of internationally collaborative workshops. One of these is a Fresh Connection match featuring teams and facilitators from France and South Africa, as well as renowned international presenters.

Through The Fresh Connection simulation, participants will be able to experience the new and innovative DDMRP approach in an environment that is risk free. They will be able to explore and understand the conceptual differences between conventional supply chain methodologies and emerging flow-based practices like DDMRP, which are more fitting for the volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous (VUCA) world that we find ourselves in.”

Teams from France-based supply chain association FAPICS will compete in this Fresh Connection challenge against South African supply chain practitioners, and the competition and workshop will be facilitated by industry gurus Caroline Mondon and Tracy Cheetham. With over 25 years’ experience in managing operations in French and international manufacturing companies, Mondon has significant expertise in supply chain management and functions, planning and scheduling and in the Demand Driven Adaptive Enterprise Model.

Cheetham is an experienced supply chain professional and educator with a background in operations and ERP systems in the manufacturing, service and logistics industries. She has held a range of leadership roles in South Africa and the United States and is a past president of SAPICS.

“Given that France pipped South Africa to the post by being awarded the 2023 Rugby World Cup, this international business challenge may be an opportunity for some payback,” Park concludes.

This workshop and Fresh Connection Challenge takes place on 5 April 2018.

For more information, or to register to participate in the event, call 011 023 6701 or email