Procurement Issues: Supply Chain and Continuity
During this unprecedented time, managing our Supply Chain is more important than ever. With events changing daily, and the significant impact on all businesses and their employees, maintaining proactive communication with suppliers and our operation is critical.
Bellrock has a vast array of clients from retail to healthcare, offices to pubs, each with their own requirements at this time. This has meant that some parts of our supply chain are not currently required to deliver their services. Whilst this is a difficult message to manage due to the potential impact for those suppliers, proactive communication is key to ensure that suppliers can manage their staff and operations to minimise the impact to their business. Suppliers are being contacted on a regular basis to make them aware of changes in service requirements and to provide as much information to support as possible. Meanwhile, ensuring that records and systems are updated to manage planned works and mandatory compliance works is key to a smooth return to BAU once businesses re-open.
The Supply Chain Network
Elsewhere, there are a significant number of clients who still require services – some require slightly reduced service such as schools that may be shut or partly open to support the children of key workers, whilst some require an even greater level of service, such as hospitals and health centres. In these instances, supply chain management is critical to ensure hospitals are cleaned, providing reactive support for deep cleaning or maintenance where a fault occurs. In the face of this challenge, many suppliers are closing their doors to minimise the impact on their business, whilst others are offering a reduced service to maintain the safety of their employees.
Using to the latest government advice and guidelines, and those of the regulatory bodies, Bellrock are working with clients and suppliers alike to ensure that all statutory compliance is maintained throughout this period, whilst ensuring the safety and wellbeing continues to be a priority, and that payments for work done is protected.
Bellrock has developed an extensive supply chain network covering the breadth of the UK to support its diverse client portfolio, which is providing the coverage to support its clients through these challenging times. Constant communication with these suppliers to understand how their operation is being impacted, and how they might be able to provide additional support is enabling us to react quickly to client needs and keep these critical sites operational. Information is reviewed constantly, with Bellrock’s Concerto analytics platform providing important performance, coverage and accreditation information that is used to inform decisions when the team require additional support.
One specific example of the additional supplier engagement implemented is a portal that enables suppliers to provide ‘as it happens’ updates to Bellrock of any suspected or confirmed Covid-19 cases within their business, and where those employees have worked, enabling Bellrock to inform clients and colleagues to try and minimise the risk of infection. This link also enables suppliers to provide updates on its services, including any restrictions. Information is cascaded regularly with stakeholders throughout the business to ensure that everyone is informed and can react quickly.
The Supply Chain team regularly review the risk profile of its supplier base, and this is something that is being done more regularly during the current climate. Where possible to do so, the business is looking to support SMEs by giving them work and ensuring that invoices are paid in a timely manner.
Finally, there is the challenge of sourcing products that are in high-demand for example PPE and hand-sanitiser, which we all know is in short-supply. This is where Bellrock have had to be creative in the way that it procures – not just working with the conventional suppliers, but also with the wider supply chain, to use their supply chains and contacts to source products. Through the mature relationships Bellrock has with its key suppliers, we have been able to continue to source these key products to support our front-line staff during this period.
- Financial Stabilty – The Covid 19 crisis will inevitably put significant strain on the cashflow for some suppliers. It is critical to assess the financial stability of all of your supply chain and their ability to fulfil contractual requirements
- Furlough Impact – It is likely suppliers will need to Furlough staff, early and effective communication with the supplier of re-occupation plans will enable suppliers to meet the demands
- Stock Control and critical spares – the ability of the supply chain to obtain critical spares and stock post lockdown will be critical, this needs to be thought of now to ensure re-occupation of business is seamless
- Performance – inevitably performance metrics and KPI performance will suffer through Covid 19 and restrictions on travel and workforce availability. Post lockdown the remobilisation of services will need to be monitored carefully to ensure performance and contractual commitments are met.
- Planned and Reactive service backlog – inevitably there will be significant PPM and reactive tasks that will be backlogged. Careful attention must be paid to ensuring the relevant tasks are prioritised
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