Planning for Success in a Climate of Supply Chain Disruption

Dave Roberts – Head of Operations - Forecasting - February 25 2022.

Global supply chains have faced unprecedented constraints and disruptions over the last two years. From Covid and driver shortages, to rocketing fuel prices. Not to mention the small matter of BREXIT. Or the Suez blockage.

For retailers and brands with sufficient time in their schedules, sourcing from the Far East may once have offered substantial cost benefits. But these advantages can no longer be relied upon. Shipping costs are at an all-time high, limited container availability is proving problematic, capacity at ports continues to be an issue and global political situations like are doing little to smooth a return to ‘normal’.

Pro-active problem solving is right at the heart of what we do

We’ve seen increased branded concessions within supermarkets. For brands, the benefits are evident, with the increased guaranteed footfall and reduced operating costs; however, accurate forecasting becomes a critical factor in planning a supply chain strategy to support the negotiation of spaces instore.

As a result, some of our customers are approaching us for bulk manufacturing of their display fixtures here in the UK, to cut out the risk and uncertainty associated with global sourcing and logistics. And because robust manufacturing and problem-solving capabilities sit right at the heart of what we do here at Nuttall, we’re only too happy to help.

To help overcome some of the supply chain issues we have secured materials on behalf of our clients to ensure we achieve their forecasted programs over the next 12-months.

Economies of scale and inventory management

Producing bulk orders of display fixtures means that retailers with volume requirements can build stock holding in preparation for projects planned across the year, realising economies of scale in production. What’s more, because we have space, capability, and the systems to manage inventory on behalf of our customers, there’s no storage headache involved in getting on the front foot. Our customers simply call off their fixture requirements to order, in line with their planned works.

Essentially, we are making stock, in line with forecast, rather than on a project-by-project basis. It builds certainty into schedules and confidence that retailers are not going to get caught short by the availability and escalating cost of raw materials.

Blended solutions are always an option

Beyond economies of scale, here at Nuttall we review every brief we deliver to make sure that what we produce ticks boxes for speed, cost and quality. Our PRISM process gives our clients flexibility, taking advantage of our UK manufacturing capacity and our options for global supply or a blended mix of both. In addition, our blended manufacturing model creates a broader set of pricing metrics, with added cost savings for clients who utilise our complete inventory management under one roof.

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