How manufacturers can gear up to create a crisis-free Christmas

With ongoing HGV driver and staff shortages hitting the supply sector across the UK, along with the aftermath of Brexit and the ongoing pandemic recovery, there are worries over how manufacturers can gear up for the crucial Christmas trading period. 

Panicked purchases

Panic buying at petrol stations, empty supermarket shelves, worries over rising costs of energy and consumer goods as well as fears over Christmas toys – no wonder the experts are calling it ‘a perfect storm’.

Many countries are suffering from supply chain problems as they emerge from the pandemic, with the UK also affected by post-Brexit trade and immigration rules. The disruption has resulted in delayed deliveries and increased prices. However, according to the CBI, there are expectations among manufacturers that demand will increase and output will continue to grow at an above-average pace.

Many countries are suffering from supply chain problems as they emerge from the pandemic, with the UK also affected by post-Brexit trade and immigration rules. The disruption has resulted in delayed deliveries and increased prices. However, according to the CBI, there are expectations among manufacturers that demand will increase and output will continue to grow at an above-average pace.

Bring Christmas back

To ensure we have a Christmas that is close to normal as possible, something we haven’t seen for almost two years, manufacturers and retailers will need to rely on their innovation and collaboration by joining forces to tackle the issues.

While dealing with limited resources as they try to meet consumer demand, manufacturers can benefit from utilising the stock they do have and working with retailers to improve the efficiency of flow through the supply chain.

With supply chain issues at the top of the news agenda, consumer shopping habits have quickly changed, with many buying much earlier than usual and stocking up on their most loved items.

What to do?

Retailers must communicate clearly about supply issues as they arise, in order to support manufacturers and help them manage the rise in demand.

The supply sector is experiencing some of the worst shortages in decades, which in turn is having a knock-on effect on the grocery market. A major recruitment drive is needed to tackle the lack of drivers, as well as warehouse and other production staff.

Retailers can support manufacturers, as they gear up for December 25, by communicating the shortages effectively with customers, working with competitors and optimising warehouse space and truck journeys.

The countdown to Christmas has started, with shoppers already on the hunt for deals and purchasing in bigger pack formats as they look to cater for more people this year – with a big question mark on whether there will be turkey on the table.

A great deal of work is going on behind the scenes across a number of industries to tackle the issues the country faces, such as the government’s recruitment of  former Tesco chief executive Sir David Lewis to spearhead a new supply chain advisory group.

By working together to get a grip on shortages and supply problems, let us hope that supermarket shelves will soon be lined with our favourite and must-have festive products – and that this Christmas will be one to remember.