The events of recent days has provided another rude awakening that the road to a post-COVID World is going to be far from straightforward. In addition to raw material, labour and fuel shortages we also have the uncertainty of future customer demand. How will buying habits and priorities have changed during lockdown? The recovery has slowed and inflation is rapidly heading to 4%. Some labour shortages will ease with the ending of Furlough but not all. Planning for the next eighteen months is going to be particularly challenging compounded by the possibility of interest rises to bring inflation back under control.
So, what to do?
The immediate requirement is to ensure that your Business is able to cope with greater uncertainty of supply and increased volatility of demand. In particular, this means increasing the financial strength of the Business by securing revenue streams and ensuring costs are fully controlled.
Within the area of logistics this means:
- Prioritising and securing key customers and services
- Culling products and services, that after the fair allocation of management time, are loss making
- Ensuring warehousing and transport contracts are cost competitive and accurately reflect the level of activity
- Focussing management time on core, high value activities
- Reviewing warehouse systems and processes to maximise staff utilisation and productivity
- Planning transport to maximise vehicle and driver utilisation and productivity
- Selectively investing in automation to reduce dependency on increasing labour cost
- Undertaking a risk analysis of raw materials stock to ensure appropriate stock levels
Should you require assistance in key areas of business analysis & planning, and operational planning, process and automation review, outsourcing and supply chain planning, we will be pleased to help. Please call for an informal discussion on 01327 349090