Canon is a Japan based multinational. Canon’s business spans three general categories: imaging, office, and industry & others. Canon has a turnover worldwide of approximately 35 Billion USD and employs almost 195.000 employees. Canon has three business units in Europe: Consumer Imaging Group (CIG), Business Imaging Group (BIG) and the Production Printing Group (PPG, former Océ).


The Canon supply chain needs to revolve around the customer. A more customer centric approach is needed to create a demand driven supply chain. To achieve this Canon has been implementing Sales and Operations Planning (S&OP) throughout the whole of Europe. Intense collaboration between various disciplines, such as marketing, sales and supply chain, is a vital prerequisite for S&OP.


The business simulation game The Fresh Connection helps Canon employees experience the impact of true collaboration. The competition element of The Fresh Connection enforces the participants to make an effort. This allows for a positive learning experience in which the learning objectives, such as collaboration and communication, better stick.


Employees from Canon Europe across five time zones from 17 countries participate in an internal The Fresh Connection competition. Per country a team of 4-5 participants from different disciplines (marketing, sales, supply chain, operations) plays from their own workplace. The competition starts with an introductory webinar to explain the basics of the game and the characteristics of the roles. The teams play in total five online rounds with a two-week gap in between each round. In the intervening weeks, Involvation specialists conduct a series of webinars covering various theoretical topics (e.g. strategy, trade-offs, S&OP process). The topics have been selected together with Canon, tailored to the learning objectives of the program.


The remote version of the competition avoids people flying in and is therefore very cost effective. The webinars help to keep the teams engaged and committed and give the opportunity to deepen the theoretical knowledge where and when needed. Overall, the program has been very successful and has been repeated several times by Canon Europe.