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The effects of this global event reach far past the 11 cities where the 32 teams will battle it out for supremacy. For example, consider the effect on global demand for souvenirs and apparel to commemorate the event. Is your supply chain game-ready? Like whiffing on a shot at an open goal, the massive demand that comes along with a global event such as the World Cup will be a missed opportunity if supply chains aren’t in shape.
Adidas raked in over $2bn in soccer gear sales during the last World Cup (their national team hoisting the Cup didn’t hurt), but the earning potential reaches beyond jerseys and t-shirts. Like Qatar Airways’ inspirational campaign, many companies will seize the day and build their brand through World Cup-associated marketing. Who wouldn’t want a slice of the benefits connected to this global contest? Popular jerseys are selling out hours after release, and as World Cup fans load up on food and beverages for viewing parties, brands are ready to take full advantage.
Light and quick: Why agility is key
In 1990, Cameroon made a run to the quarter final of the World Cup before losing to England. Nobody saw that coming. As supply chain professionals are all too familiar with, surprises are the norm, and you better be ready. If you have a platform with real-time, connected visibility across the whole supply chain, you’ll be ready to react with cat-like agility when that clinching penalty kick means a whole country wants a jersey overnight.
Pass, pass, pass, goal!
It’s a beautiful thing in the beautiful game to watch a winning play come together, as player after player passes it along with crisp efficiency and vision. It makes that final swish of the net even more satisfying to know it was a team effort. Supply chain success is the same way. First, all the plans are put in place (a cloud-based, connected platform makes a huge difference.) Marketing kicks it off with promotions, and supply chain and finance pass the ball back and forth to ensure production meets demand and every unit has the capital they need to score. And in the end, the customer gets the jersey they want when they want it.
Keep an eye on the whole field
Soccer superstars can see five steps ahead of their opponents, as can connected planning platforms, imagining where their teammates will be and putting the ball in just the right place at the right time. By preparing plans and forecasts to fulfill potential spikes in demand, the companies that will reap the most benefits from the World Cup do the same thing. Visibility from the supply chain’s start to finish is non-negotiable, along with an accurate view of the entire product portfolio so you know what products will become most popular during a massive event like the World Cup. Soccer fans will be snatching up gear both online and in stores, so visibility and flexibility to meet omnichannel demand is a match requirement. And that visibility also ensures a speedy response in case a distributor or supplier has to be subbed out mid-match.
So, to get your supply chain game-ready for the World Cup and beyond, be agile and flexible, make connections across your whole team, and keep an eye on the entire field.
Vivek Soneja is global head of supply chain for Anaplan.
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