Whether you love it or loathe it, for the next few weeks you’re probably not going to be able to avoid it, the 2018 FIFA World cup is here! Apologies for anyone who thought this may be a reference to Love Island. With the country preparing the customary patriotism through flags on windows, cars, and anything else they can hang them from, companies around the world will be nudging employees away from live scores and fantasy football and back to the reality of the day to day job.   

So with all this in mind and the excitement growing, we thought we would take a slightly tongue in cheek look at the similarities between the world cup and supplier selection in the procurement process.


Many suppliers involved -

You will start off with a wide range of suppliers all interested in participation with the belief they can be the winner and eager to impress.

No two teams are the same -

About as cliché as it gets, but nothing could be more true. They all have different strengths, styles, Pros and Cons, at the start they can be hard to separate.

The Germans will be efficient -

Their business style is replicated on the pitch; thorough, well drilled, on time and on target – fancied to be competitive.

Suppliers whittled down through rounds -

A common way to select the best supplier is to do so through a series of rounds selecting a small number of suppliers to go through each stage, then repeating the process until you get to the magic 1.

Language may need to be overcome -

Suppliers from all around the World may wish to bid on your project. If so, there’s a high chance you may face difficulties understanding each other, a hurdle that should be overcome sometimes the overseas companies are the ones that will surprise you.

You may face penalties -

Oh the dreaded penalties, the stuff of nightmares! If you don’t perform to the standards expected you could be headed for penalties, something to avoid.

Some suppliers may need extra time -

Don’t be surprised if some suppliers come back and ask for extra time to submit their bids, some things just can’t be settled in the given time.

Bribery should play no part -

Gift’s, back-handers, bungs and bribes. None of these please!

Size of Supplier may not matter -

Iceland, with a population of just over 330,000, have qualified for their first world cup this year. A small company can represent a major supplier.

The mighty may fall -

Big isn’t always best. Italy failed to qualify for their first world cup this year, sometimes the bigger companies will fall short of your requirements.

Not a quick process -

Don’t expect a supplier to be chose overnight, these processes can go on for weeks and months. Strap yourself in!


We hope you enjoy the world cup and remember, as the late Bill Shankly once said, “Some people think football is a matter of life and death, I can assure you it’s much more serious than that.”

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