Supply Chain Management at the Olympics
Since the first modern day Olympic Games in Athens, Greece in 1896, logistical details have been vital to the success of the international event. But obviously as time has passed, the logistics of hosting the Olympic Games has become more and more complex.
So, however, have the systems used to manage the Games.
Logistics and supply chain management techniques now entail new roads, buildings, crowd control, security, food supply, housing and training facilities as well as the competitive fields of play.
For those interested in pursuing an education in supply chain and logistics management – or business management in general -- the Olympics provide a primer.
The team that developed the 2012 Olympics in London has created supply chain management standards for all who propose to take part in the renowned event. They have focused their logistics strategy on legacy, security and sustainability.
The Park and Transportation
The Olympic Park was built in East London, near Stratford. The Olympic Stadium, an aquatics center and various arenas for other sports are included within the park area. Next to the park is the Olympic Village, which will serve as home for these next few weeks for about 17,000 athletes and officials.
As part of London 2012's commitment to legacy, the Olympic Village will provide housing after the games are over.
Accessible transportation routes were also developed or previous routes were renovated. The Stratford Regional Railway Station received upgrades to accommodate numerous travelers. An entirely new station was built at Woolwich Arsenal, and over 900 million Euros were spent to renovate the East London Line.
Sustainable Food Supply
To prepare for the 2012 Olympics, a catering strategy has also been established. One key element is sustainability. All food sources are required to meet standards that include RSPCA Freedom Food Certified, Fairtrade, Lion Mark free range and Red Tractor assured specifications.
Where possible, London 2012 also is promoting organic products. There are provisions in place to control food waste such as encouraging the use of the whole animal, developing optimal proportion sizes, inventory management and reusing, recycling or redistributing wherever possible.
The main purchasers of foods during the Olympic Games will be ticket holders, athletes, team officials, technical officials, broadcasters, the press, corporate sponsors and family members. Businesses providing food for the 2012 Olympics in London are expected to exercise careful supply chain management to ensure both the sustainability and the security of all food items.
While the London 2012 team will endeavor to secure the area, logistics management should be practiced by all who participate in the business of the games. London's residents have suffered from terrorist attacks in the past including the 7/7 bombings. Similarly, in the past, the Olympic Games have attracted the attention of those who wish to make deadly public statements.
Potential security risks include products and materials being delivered to Olympic sites, any vehicles moving to and from the Olympic park, stationary locations such as warehouses as well as retail outlets within the Olympic area.
To offset these dangers, persons involved in the supply chain management of goods are taking the following precautions: 1) oversee all loading and unloading of delivery trucks; 2) performing security checks on employees, even those who have been with the business for a long time; 3) making frequent checks on materials in warehouses to be sure that no unexpected items have been stowed; 4) selling products which the public cannot handle prior to purchasing, i.e. even clothing can be sold in standard sizes in light plastic sleeves.
London 2012 Olympic Supply Chain Management Protocols
Olympic events stimulate the economies of the cities that host them; however, serious logistic management needs to be exercised by the companies and small businesses that take part. During the course of the Olympics, businesses need to adhere to the London 2012 supply chain management protocols in order to enhance visionary commitments and abide by necessary security measures. With each Olympic event, a supply chain is swiftly assembled and disassembled, but that momentary global collaboration represents the heart of the games.