Action Learning Program for toy manufacturer

In the past decade, our customer had gone through a period of explosive growth and had transitioned itself from a regional family business into one of the world’s leading toy manufacturers. Today, the company is selling its products in more than 130 countries across the globe.

why spend time on training

Why spend time on training?

Production and assembly of the toys and boxes are done in a limited number of global factories and from there they are distributed globally. Market demand is characterised by steep seasonal patterns, specifically around the holidays and by a very high innovation ratio.

In order to kick-off a phase of further professionalization, our customer asked us to design and deliver an “Action Learning Program” for the planning teams in Europa and Asia. Main objective was to increase understanding of the end-to-end supply chain, plus the realisation that planning teams can have an enormous impact on the overall performance of the company. Other themes were S&OP, Demand Planning, use of what-if scenarios, inventory optimisation and cost thinking.

The Involvation Learning Philosophy is based on the power of experiencing rather than listening and was used as the foundation of the program. The participants played the Involvation Supply Chain Game and were asked to optimise the inventory management and to subsequently re-design the footprint of this virtual chain as well. Different teams made different trade-offs and design decisions, which made the consequences of these decisions blatantly clear. The team with the shortest and most responsive chain for example was able to manage the re-launch of the product range much better and with less obsoletes than the other teams.

In order to further increase the understanding of the operational and tactical S&OP process, the participants worked on an extensive case study of a beverages company. The assignment was to set-up an analysis and roadmap for an improvement program and to subsequently convince the Board of their proposals.

Finally, the participants got the opportunity to work with their own products and settings in the Involvation Training Portal. This allowed them to apply the lessons learnt in a safe environment, by using their own real-life data and simulating the consequences of their decisions.

Main and returning theme of the program was the continuous translation of new insights and lessons learnt into practice. In order to further guarantee this essential translation into action, the participants got an assignment to define concrete improvement proposals in their own work environments. These projects are currently being followed-up internally by our client.

It is not the strongest species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the ones most responsive to change
Charles Darwin