Materials, parts, products; they have all been subject to delays and shortages over the last year thanks to a combination of factors from a shortage of lorry drivers to the effects of pandemic lockdowns.
It has all made running a business more stressful and expensive.
Is it time to rethink your supply chain?
Many businesses switched to buying from suppliers further afield because of the financial savings this brought them, but perhaps given the more recent difficulties it might be worth looking for sources closer to home.
It may end up costing a little more but if it improves your business’ continuity it may be worth it.
Reshoring is also becoming increasingly important for improving UK manufacturing resilience and ensuring that its manufacturing supply chains are fit for an uncertain future.
Perhaps you need a back-up plan?
It is also worth looking around for alternative suppliers and using more than one, again to ensure the continuity of your own business operations.
Giving orders to a back-up supplier as well as your main one could minimise disruption to your own business.
There have been some welcome indications that materials supply issues have eased a little in the construction sector with the November PMI data from IHS Markit and CIPS showing total activity for November at 55.5, compared with 54.6 in October. Fewer respondents were reporting longer than usual delivery times, down to 47% from the previous month’s 54%.
The end of the year is the time for reflection, recharging the batteries and a little planning ahead.
So once the Turkey has been eaten and the presents opened perhaps the run-up to the New Year is a good time to think ahead to make your business more resilient.