Service Supply Chain Network Providers Go for Gold Too

Last modified: February 8, 2017

Just making it to the Rio Olympics Games had been a dream for the more than 15,000 athletes who participated in the Summer Games and Paralympics, the latter of which concluded Sunday. Winning a medal — especially a gold medal — was the driver for all their hard work.

Being a service supply chain network provider is not unlike being an Olympic athlete. We’re both going for the gold. At the 2016 Olympics, many athletes proved they are champions by taking home gold medals. Service supply chain providers such as Flash Global don’t win medals; they use their “mettle” to prove they are champions. And unlike for Olympic athletes, there’s no medal for coming in second, and there’s no honor in just playing in the global arena. Service supply chain providers always go for the gold, because gold is the only acceptable outcome.

An Olympic athlete wins gold with expertise, strength, speed, agility and delivering perfect form. That’s how they succeed in the global games. A service supply chain network wins its mettle with expertise, scalability, flexibility, communication and infrastructure to succeed in the global marketplace. If Flash competed in the Olympics, these would be our best events.

Sprintsservice supply chain network olympics

Nobody beats Usain Bolt in a sprint. So far, he’s won the gold medal in the 100m race 3 times. When there’s a need for speed on the track, call Usain Bolt. When there’s a need for speed in your service supply chain, you need a provider who delivers fast — 2-hour, 4-hour, NBD and NFO. Speed is the name of the game for a service supply chain network with mettle.


In the service supply chain, some days are like a sprint, but a lot require the discipline of a gold medal marathoner. Like Jemima Jelagat Sumgong from Kenya, gold medalist in this year’s women’s marathon, a gold medal-winning service supply chain provider has to go the distance. It’s not enough to just be fast, you also have to be able to go the full distance for your customers — even if that means going an extra mile or two. You need the foresight to plan ahead to ensure you have the right inventory in place at the right time, and the efficient warehouse and process procedures to support the long haul.


An athlete has to be ready for anything in the hurdles. You have to run fast; you have to run the distance; and you have to overcome any hurdles in your path. That’s exactly the situation a service supply chain provider faces every day. Unlike on the Olympic track, where hurdles are placed at expected intervals, in service supply chain the hurdles can come from anywhere, at any time. Whether facing Louisiana floods, California wildfires, earthquakes in Japan or terrorism anywhere in the world, a service supply chain provider needs the tools and resources to respond quickly to meet the customer’s expectations regardless of the hurdles that must be leapt.

A service supply chain partner should be experienced enough, big enough and global enough to surmount any hurdle, and they should have all the necessary certifications and procedures in place to ensure your deliveries don’t get hung up on a technicality. Your service supply chain provider should care enough to ensure they are registered with C-TPAT, for example, to help prevent the spread of terrorism through better risk assessment of global shipments.

Relay Teams

Even a great individual athlete such as Michael Phelps knows how to become a team player during the relay. Maybe that’s why he propelled his team to gold again this year in the 4x100m freestyle relay. It’s about doing your personal best while helping those around you to achieve their own best too. Communication is vital as each team member touches the wall in the pool or hands off the baton on the track to transition to a teammate.

It’s like that in the service supply chain network too. Communication and visibility are vital as orders come in from the global network and get routed through various checkpoints. Here’s where the experience of a gold medalist such as Michael Phelps can help his swim team win a medal and the experience of a gold-mettle company such as Flash Global can help its clients to win their own races. We have the expertise in global shipping to ensure that the proper documents accompany every shipment to prevent unnecessary delays or seizures. Flash has an extensive global network, and offers unprecedented visibility into supply chains from anywhere in the world through our proprietary technology, FlashTrac.

In the service supply chain network Olympics, gold is the only acceptable solution; there are no medals or awards for almost getting the job done. Deliveries must have the right products, delivered on time, every time.

Contact Flash today to learn how their world-class team of service supply chain network professionals can help you achieve gold in the global marketplace.

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