Supply Chain Management

Supply Chain Lessons from the Indian Premier League (IPL)

For a cricket fan, the Indian Premier League, or as we call it IPL is an ultimate combo of sports and entertainment. On the face of it, it may not seem like IPL and supply chain management have anything in common. However, have you ever thought about how its supply chain is managed so well? Well, as for any sports tournament to be successful, the supply chain management and logistics behind it should be absolutely diamond-sharp so think about the size and scale of a tournament such as IPL.

The tournament has multiple teams, team members from across the globe, each team has an army of technical staff, then the match controlling officials like referee & umpires, a television crew, a number of playgrounds in which the teams have to play, the team members have to travel & stay at hotels during the tournament, the list goes on. It is undeniably a logistics nightmare for any supply chain professional. So, surely IPL is managed by an army of highly experienced & skilled supply chain professionals working tirelessly to make the tournament a huge success.

While there might be a lot of things we can learn from how the Indian premier league is managed, we will stick to the 5 most important supply chain lessons in this blog.

1. It is all about ownership – It is the lead supply chain entity or rather the entity which owns the product/service that is responsible to hold the supply chain together since the stakes are high for that organization. However, each entity must own its turf to deliver excellent service, be it the supplier, distributor, or retailer. Each entity has to complete its responsibility without fail since any slack will lead to supply chain disruptions.   

2. Invest in research & development, tech, and training – Continuous investment in R&D and product innovation is a must for any organization to survive. Understanding the customer’s needs is essential, however, customer education about how the products/services on offer will solve their problem through various channels is also important. Another area where huge investment is needed is to acquire the latest technology. Equally important is the continuous investment in training the workforce to ensure they stay motivated, and upskilled, maintain the defined quality, and make success a habit.      

3. Team is what matters more than individual stars – Successful IPL teams do not just focus on their star players; they know to clinch the trophy the team has to deliver not just the superstars. The same is with the supply chain. For any organization, teamwork at all levels is essential to deliver superior products/services. The team knows each member well, each one’s weaknesses & strengths and they strategize accordingly. All the entities involved in the supply chain of any product/service have to work as a single unit with a single vision even though each entity has its own vision on their own. 

4. Data-driven decisions – Any organization that is able to organize the data it is collecting & generating, analyze them, make the decision accordingly, review the decision to check the impact and make changes fast will always be a winner over its competitors.

5. A strong fan base – Chances are that a die-hard fan of IPL Delhi or Jaipur or Chennai will remain loyal forever. The fans support the team no matter how big their opponent is or where they play. Likewise, it is necessary to build a strong fan following for any product/service to win the competition race. This will only be possible if the supply chain is agile, lean, high-quality product/service, and continuously delivers a superior customer experience. Then the customers will become your brand ambassadors. 

With the right strategies in place, all the supply chain entities in a supply chain such as suppliers, manufacturers, distributors, wholesalers, and retailers will benefit from having a superior supply chain.

Hope this blog will help you to think and analyze how essential it is to have a well-organized & agile supply chain for the Indian premier league as you watch your favorite teams play.

You can also learn about the Soft Skills For Logistics And SCM Professionals or Sourcing in SCM.

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