22 July 2024, 20:59
By Furniture News Jun 14, 2021

Supply chain woes – time to call it a day?

Prompting widespread delays, disruption and shortages, Covid-19 has put unprecedented strain on supplier relationships – but while some battle to diversify, others’ ties are stronger than ever, writes Paul Farley …

On 23rd March, the Ever Given, a 400m-long container ship, wedged itself in the Suez Canal, holding up more than 400 vessels at either end of the 120-mile waterway for the best part of a week.

The debacle encapsulated the occasional fragility of global trade – reflected throughout the pandemic through material shortages, delays and price hikes, which, when coupled with lockdowns and factory outbreaks, meant that in supply terms, certainty was hard to come by.

It was not just imports which suffered – national manufacturing operations floundered when the components and materials vital to their work failed to arrive in time. 

Faced with furloughed staff, online acceleration and an insatiable consumer hunger for homewares, many had no option but to see Covid-19 as a recipe for change. Businesses that had placed all their eggs in one basket became acutely aware of the need for diversification, so the hunt was on for alternative supply sources, identifying fall-back options to mitigate the risk.

Read the full article in May's issue of Furniture News, here.

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