World Cup suppliers must learn from the mistakes of the host nation, says Crimson & Co


Overseas suppliers providing services such as food, beverage and merchandise to the FIFA World Cup in Brazil must ensure they carry out comprehensive root-to-branch reviews across their entire supply chain, with effective tried-and-tested contingency plans in place that will ultimately protect margins and reputation, claims Rob Baker, principle at Crimson & Co.

Seven years after Brazil was successfully awarded the FIFA World Cup, the tournament is finally kicking off on 12 June 2014. This month-long global festival celebrating the ‘beautiful game’ will be watched by billions across the planet, providing the ultimate billboard for brands to showcase their products and services to a worldwide audience.

The pressure of being on the global stage will no doubt put increased strain on all elements of an organisation and none more so than its supply chain. Baker said that with the eyes of the world on the tournament, participating brands must ensure that every eventuality is accounted for:

“With only a few days to go World Cup fever is gripping the planet and for the host nation, the build up has not been without its controversies. As we go into the opening games we are still in a situation whereby three stadiums have not been officially completed, sparking a wide array of criticisms.

Baker said: “From a construction perspective, questions are rightly being asked about Brazil’s supply chain and planning procedures but with such little time available this has to be put aside. Everyone must now pull in the same direction to ensure the infrastructure available is the best it can possibly be.

“The fallout from this must now be on the flow of supplies to Brazil – whether it is merchandise, food or beverage, firms providing products and services must look at the lessons which can be learnt from the host nation. Suppliers must conduct a thorough overview of their supply chain of products and services destined for the tournament.

“Organisations that are particularly going to feel the strain from this are those without a pre-existing presence in Brazil. Even with something as significant as the World Cup, it would be naïve to assume the route to market for overseas suppliers is straightforward. It’s imperative for firms to analyse each individual element of their supply chain, as the potential for disruption from so many external factors is huge.

“Examples of this could be anything from the extremes of corruption and rioting, to the loss of productivity from workers as the tournament progresses and more people take time out to watch the games.

“In order to ensure products and services are brought to market quickly and efficiently, an entire review of the supply chain from root-to-branch is essential. The same meticulous detail must also be applied to any contingency plans in the event of failure within the supply chain. In doing so, suppliers will be able to ensure they meet contractual obligations by having the right product, at the right place, at the right time, with the result from this level of preparedness being the right margins for your business.”