Sir: The news that availability issues dogged many Olympic venues is something of a surprise, considering how smoothly the Games as a whole ran (‘Supply chain not to blame for shortages at Olympic venues’, 4 August). And it is a shame that it appears some businesses fell at the last hurdle when it came to supply chain planning.

As a one-off event, demand was always going to be unpredictable, making forecasting a challenge. The best forecast is only ever a forecast, rather than a foregone conclusion. However, there are clearly some lessons to be learned. Even the most well-defined supply chain plans need to be highly responsive in order to be adjusted as realities shift.

With shortages at Olympic venues, it was clear that continuous feedback and correction needed to have taken place so businesses could respond to changes in demand. Having visibility of inventory anywhere, knowledge of lead times and real time collaboration options with suppliers is critical in order to have the right goods on the shelves at the right time.

Lee Gill, vp retail, JDA

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