What Olympic sport is most like supply chain?

  • by Melissa Clow
  • Published

Olympic MedalsWith all the Olympic coverage, we have the winter games on our mind. And, it of course got us thinking about the tie to supply chain.

So we thought we’d have some fun and find out what Olympic sport is most like supply chain and why? Is it most like luge? Or maybe Snowboarding or speed skating?

We created a little contest on the Supply Chain Expert community. The Gold, Silver and Bronze responses will be rewarded with a treat – a $25.00 Starbucks gift card. Good luck and let the games begin!

Our own Nazli Erdogus thought she would participate (even though Kinaxis employees are not eligible to win). Here’s what she posted, and no your answer does not need to be this detailed.


Nazli ErdogusNazli wrote: I’m not born and raised in winter sports so maybe for some of you this is not the right choice but I’ve always found figure skating a fascinating winter sport for so many reasons.

So my bet goes to pairs figure skating for the most like supply chain winter sport. Here is why I think it matches perfectly with supply chain:

In pairs figure skating there is:


Figure SkatingFigure Skating: One of the main requirements in figure skating, you need to be able to communicate well with your partner (Wouldn`t be very nice if the man drops the woman during the throw jump!).

Supply chain: Of course similar to how demand planner needs to collaborate with the supplier (and come to a consensus for required adaptations).

Synchronized actions

Figure Skating: Match music with moves, no room for mistake.

Supply chain:  Match your demand to supply with (almost) no room for mismatching (otherwise you can`t satisfy the order!)


Figure Skating: The team needs to be fast to catch the music, do the right thing at the right time.

Supply chain:  You need to know your supply chain is knowing sooner and acting faster! (Check how RapidResponse does it!)


Figure Skating: The team needs to know each other’s’ strengths and weaknesses and act accordingly.

Supply chain: You need to adapt to changes, know your capacity and constraints, adjust it when there is a demand spike.


Figure Skating: The team needs to look like they are one, and the moves need to look like it`s the smoothest.

Supply chain: Your supply chain needs to consider demand plan, supply plan, inventory, constraints, and capacity and make sure all these are united in one single system.


Happy Olympics!



As Kinaxis’ online community manager, Melissa serves as a connector, facilitator, and information resource for the Supply Chain Expert Community. Her blog focuses on what’s happening in the community and supply chain industry news. Melissa loves hearing from Members who are passionate and want to share their stories! Please consider her your navigator to the Supply Chain Expert Community.

More blog posts by Melissa Clow


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