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079: Going for Gold! The Role of Procurement in Delivering the Olympic Games w/ Gerry Walsh

Procurement plays a pivotal role in the delivery and execution of the Olympic Games.  However, it was not always like that.  The organizing committee of the 2012 London Olympic games took the decision to invest in strategic procurement like never before.  The result: the success of team created a legacy whereby the IOC has recognized that procurement must play a pivotal role in the delivery of all subsequent Games.

I am joined today by Gerry Walsh, the CPO of the London 2012 games.  We discuss his and his team’s Olympic journey, including the key challenges his team faced, how they overcame them, and the extraordinary lengths that they went to, to ensure that the Organizing Committee fulfilled their CSR commitments.

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 “The team established a model for procurement that has never previously been done by an organizing committee. By proactively liaising with teams across LOCOG, it revolutionized the way procurement operates – Lord Coe.”

In this episode, you will learn:

  • Why LOCOG decided to invest in strategic procurement
  • How Gerry and his team were able to win the hearts and minds of stakeholders to enable engagement
  • The key procurement challenges in delivering an Olympic Games
  • The importance of sustainability – and the lengths that his team would go to ensure that each supplier met the CSR requirements of the Organizing Committee
  • Why strategic procurement is now embedded into the delivery of subsequent Games

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About the author

Philip Ideson

Philip Ideson is passionate about the role that procurement professionals and leaders can plan in creating competitive advantage for their organizations in ways that go beyond the traditional value proposition.

Philip founded Art of Procurement as a way for the procurement community to learn from each other, increasing the impact they have on their organizations. In 2017, he co-founded Palambridge, a virtual platform of procurement experts, technology, and intelligence. Palambridge provides a broad range of flexible procurement solutions, available on-demand.

Prior to Art of Procurement and Palambridge, Philip enjoyed a career that spanned the procurement value chain, working across three continents for organizations such as Accenture, Procurian, Ally Financial, Pfizer and Ford Motor Company.