How do they manage the SC in the Olympics?

The Olympic Games are one of world’s largest sports events, with wide-ranging impacts than you could imagine, on society, the economy and other fields. Given the growing momentum for efforts to protect the global environment, preparations for the delivery of the Olympic Games should be flawless. In the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Games, the supply management had interesting characteristics both in terms of operationalization and resources required. While supply managers considered local development, they did not lose sight of efficiency in delivering on other objectives. The multifaceted nature of supply, which includes sponsorship, value in kind, and so forth, requires specific supply management approaches for each stage of the event management lifecycle.

To ensure the needed supplies, shippers must train all year to handle the peak that imposes this huge event. This translates to broad consumer and retail demand fluctuations throughout the year. Logisticians have to know how to plan appropriately. Demand variances mean warehousing and storage space considerations also come into play. David Kiger thinks that they can’t afford to carry too much stock. But they also can’t afford to hold too little inventory, because demand will rise and they could fall short.

London 2012 Olympic Games

With 17,800 athletes and team officials from 203 countries, the food and drink consumption of nine million spectators and 22,000 media people and both the scale of the opportunity and the huge challenge for the food and grocery supply chain become evident. In order to ensure the efficient flows of people and goods, considerable analysis and planning took place. Two goals needed to be achieved: Provide an excellent Olympics experience for everyone but also keep London and the UK moving so business can continue as usual.

The success of this Games, needed traffic management and security measures, route networks covering 2.6% of London´s roads and parking, exclusive lanes for athletes, officials, media and Game partners. Also, logisticians from around the world crafted contingency plans, and planned measures for various scenarios, including terrorism and natural disasters. This measures contemplated the need of flowing supply chain management.

Rio 2016 Olympic Games

In the ongoing Rio 2016 Olympic Games, the numbers increased notably. With over 100,000 athletes and volunteers coming from 205 countries, participating in the 17-day Olympic Games, the committee faces daunting challenges in the supply chain and procurement process. The SCM challenges are wide: Continued focus on carbon mitigation, zero waste, and social responsibility values. Universal accessibility through public transport, and reducing waste, water and energy consumption. Integrating sustainability factors into the supply chain and procurement process. Procure over 30 million products including 6 million meals, 1.8 million sports equipment items, 120,000 chairs, 88,000 lamps, 65,000 electronic scoreboards and 30,000 mattresses. And managing the R$5 billion ($1.3 billion) procurement budget.

To accomplish this, the Rio 2016 adopted a five-step process: First, communicate the evaluation criteria and minimum requirements upfront. Second, support supplier improvements via certification guidelines, training, and workshops. Third, use total cost of ownership during procurement. Fourth, monitor and audit suppliers for verification of progress. And fifth manage dissolution, disposal and waste treatments. And to ensure sustainable supply chain management systems, the Rio 2016 Organizing Committee placed a strong reliance on management systems and certifications, included the ISO 20121 Sustainability in Event Management certification, ISO 19001 on quality management, ISO 14001 on environmental management, SAI SA8000 on social responsibility, and OHSAS 18001 on health and safety.

With 19 objectives across nine thematic commitments, Rio 2016 went beyond past Olympic Games achievements, in particular by including sustainable supply chain and procurement practices. Adopting Cisco’s network infrastructure and equipment to target energy-optimized Communication. One of the first steps undertaken by the Rio 2016 Organizing Committee was a thoroughly itemized analysis of the expected procurement demand and logistical needs across both products and services. Early completion of this task allowed Rio 2016 to communicate the supplier evaluation criteria in the July 2012 ‘Sustainable Supply Chain Guide’ brochure, which provided ample time for suppliers to participate in workshops and improve performance.

Carioca Arenas_Barra Olympic Park_Rio de Janeiro_Brazil_Supply chain management_David Kiger_Olympics games
Image courtesy of PIVISO at

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

As preparations for the Tokyo 2020 Games will require the procurement of a lot of materials within a short period of time, it is essential that we work on resource conservation and recycling, encourage maximum reduce, reuse and recycle while ensuring only products and services that are absolutely vital to the Games are used. The Organizing Committee will consider setting specific targets to utilize Japan’s advanced technologies; strategic management measures for resources conservation and recycling, and proper disposal of waste through Games planning and operations. Also, setting water, greenery and biodiversity-related targets are crucial to these Games. Measures for mitigation and monitoring of impacts on the water environment, water quality and water resources), soil environment and the ecosystem, related to Games planning and operations. Consideration of Human Rights, work, and fair trade practices, are important parts in the planning of the SCM for these future Olympic Games.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s