According to Wikipedia a supply chain is defined as a system of organizations, people, activities, information, and resources involved in moving a product or service from supplier to customer.
So what is the supply chain in the sport of synchronized swimming? Specifically for the Waterloo Regional Synchronized Swim Club.
There are many areas to think about. The first thing that comes to mind is the the pool. The supply chain list is not a short one by any means. It starts with the builders and contractors and all the supplies used to build the facility. Once the pool is full you have the chemicals for the water and the tools used around the pool (hooks, ring buoys, flutter boards, lifeguard chairs, nets and vacuum). You need to think about the emergency supplies, which include bandaids, gauze, gloves, spinal boards and ice just to name a few. Speaking of ice, you need a freezer to keep it cold. Then there is the equipment used by the swimmers which includes therabands, mats for dry land training, weights for both land and water. Bathing suits, nose plugs, goggles and bathing caps for the athletes to wear are also an important part of the supply chain for synchronized swimming.
All of the above items are very important to Waterloo Regional Synchro’s supply chain, but according to Erika Lindner, president of Waterloo Regional Synchronized Swim Club in Elmira, Ontario,
“if you’re going to go out on a limb, and build your own club, especially one in the middle of the woods (Elmira), then you need something to draw them in.”
Erika believes that the most important piece of their club’s supply chain is their coaches. The Waterloo Regional Synchronized Swim Club prides itself in having the top ranked coaching staff in Ontario including 2 former members of the Chinese Olympic Team, as well as a National coach from Russia and a top Canadian Level 4 coach. So why is the coaching staff the most important part of the Waterloo Synchro Club’s supply chain?
“Our coaching staff is the foundation of our club. Without a strong foundation, there’s no support for the rest of the structure” says Erika Lindner.
Having such a strong coaching staff provides 2 very important pieces to the club. Firstly, the training the athletes receive is second to none. This superior training translates into results. The club holds many Provincial and National titles, including having won the aggregate trophy for top club in Ontario 7 times in the last 10 years. “These results are what help bring athletes to our club” says Erika, “in the last few seasons we have athletes come from all over to swim for our coaching staff”. The club has had swimmers from London, Guelph, Branford, Mississauga and Orangeville travel great distances to train at the Waterloo Regional Synchro Club.
Aside from the club’s results speaking for themselves, Erika relies heavily on using social media to get the word out. When a new coach is joining the coaching staff, a great deal of hype is create on their accounts before the big announcements. When at competitions, their Facebook and Instagram pages are being ‘live updated’ during the events with scores and results. Social media is used to all year long, even in their off season. Summer camps, guest coaching, clinics, and tryouts are all advertised on social media.
Lessons for Others
Find the most important pieces of your supply chain, the ones that make you special, and use your social media accounts to tell the world! The more you can endorse your supply chain to an audience, the more hype you can create around you product or service. Social media is free advertising – don’t let it go to waste.
Waterloo Regional Synchronized Swim Club
Industry: Youth Sports
Name of Organization Contact: Erika Lindner, President
Authored by: Carey Brooks
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Supply chain. (2017, March 5). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 04:19, March 7, 2017, from https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Supply_chain&oldid=768719397