Dealing with uncertainty: Minimising risk through enhanced supply chain visibility
Given the increasingly volatile political and economic environment, manufacturers across all sectors of the economy understand the need to plan for uncertainty and find ways of maximising efficiency in the way they run their operations. That understanding should serve them well as they look ahead to the challenges that 2019 will bring, especially in light of the UK’s imminent departure from the EU – argues Sam Rothwell, Team Lead, HSO
Inevitably, the area of greatest concern for many manufacturers concerns their supply chain. Many are either planning to, or already stockpiling, to enable business as near to usual as possible. In line with this, the latest snapshot survey from IHS Markit and the Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply, indicates that during January 2019, British factories raised their stocks at the fastest rate since records began in the early 1990s.
Stockpiling is, however, getting harder as available warehouse space diminishes. A nationwide survey of UK Warehousing Association (UKWA) members held in December 2018 revealed that 85% had received Brexit-related inquiries. Approximately three-quarters (75%) were unable to take on more business from new customers.
The food and drink industry is one of those most threatened by this. Ian Wright, the chief executive of the food and drink federation, recently told MPs that warehouses around the UK for frozen and chilled food are “for all practical purposes booked out at the moment.”