Procurement and the Olympics

There is a very good article in the current issue of Supply Management magazine about the Olympics and the contribution procurement  has made.

People such as Morag Stuart of the ODA have made substantial contributions as reported here  (and I'm sure Gerry Walsh will be similarly effective in his new role at LOCOG).  But there are two huge 'heroes' of the construction programme that were not mentioned at all.  Firstly, CLM, the consortium that is managing the construction programme on behalf of the ODA. They are being well rewarded no doubt, but if it all continues to go to plan, they will deserve great credit; although they are keeping a low profile, their project and contract management effort will be heavily responsible for delivery of the venues to time and budget.

Secondly, the use of the NEC contracts as the basis for the construction activity. I'll cover this in more detail another time, but this contract model takes a different approach to construction and project contracting compared to 'traditional' approaches,  and appears to be working very successfully here. There is considerable focus on resolving problems and disputes quickly and before they can fester or sour relationships, which seems very sensible.

Professor Andrew Cox might argue that the economic conditions have changed the balance of power in the supply chain in favour of the buyer (and he is right), which has made it easier to keep suppliers in line; but when the book of the Olympics programme is written, I suspect that CLM and NEC will be two much used and praised acronyms!

Peter Smith

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