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Hot Topic: Supply Chain

Understanding your supply chain

The term “Supply Chain” encompasses the entire system of resources, processes and suppliers required to produce and sell a product, from raw materials through to the end customer’s purchase.

In order to plan effectively, it is important to understand the nuances and complexities of your supply chain. Where are your main areas of risk? Where is there some flexibility? How have your suppliers been affected by the pandemic, and are they still the best fit for your requirements?

Supply chain is comprised of numerous elements, including but not limited to:

  • Sourcing and provision of raw materials
  • Production/manufacturing
  • Logistics
  • Inventory control
  • Warehousing
  • Distribution
  • Cost management
  • Marketing
  • Delivery to end consumer

Covid impact

Globally, Covid-19 has had a huge impact. Whilst UK supply chains were already in preparation mode for potential Brexit disruption pre-pandemic, no one could have predicted the events of the last two years, where in early 2020 almost every business went into emergency mode, shutting down entirely or significantly adjusting operations.

The pandemic has presented challenges at every stage of the supply chain. From labour shortages to port delays to container shipping price hikes, costs have increased significantly, and procurement teams have had to think outside of the box to find effective and efficient solutions.  

Two years on, we have had the chance to adjust to the ‘new normal’, and so 2022 is likely to see a shift from firefighting to strategic future planning. Covid-19 has taught businesses that it’s important to expect the unexpected and plan for every conceivable eventuality.

In next week’s post, we take a look at Supply Chain Management, and explore how you can manage your supply chain and the processes involved for efficient and effective use of the resources listed above.

If you would like to find out more about how our procurement services could help resolve supply chain challenges, contact us to arrange an introductory call.

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