How we can help reduce the impact of COVID-19 on the supply chain


We don’t know yet what the full economic effects of COVID-19 will be, but we do know that we are in uncharted territory. No business has been left untouched in one way or another by the pandemic. As the situation has developed the supply chain still faces huge challenges in how to navigate constraints imposed upon them and adapt to what is now widely accepted as ‘the new normal’.

The situation is far reaching and extremely complex, affecting all tiers of the supply chain in different ways. Since January, when we saw the first signs that this situation was likely to escalate, we have been engaging with our supply chain partners extensively to understand the short, medium, and long-term impact of COVID-19 on them and the risk it presents to our project and the wider construction industry.

For many businesses this will be a defining moment for their survival and future, but it’s important to remember that every challenge presents an opportunity. Those that can adapt and innovate to continue delivering safe, effective, and efficient solutions in this new environment will no doubt recover, grow, and profit.

The pandemic’s disruption to the supply chain further strengthens the need for innovation and for harnessing and leveraging technology-based solutions to safely deliver new ways of working. We are working hard to ensure this is enabled through our engagement, procurement, and performance management of supply chain partners.

The first step in this uncharted journey has been to develop mitigation plans that help protect our business, our client, and most importantly our supply chain. This is enabling us to proactively manage supply chain threats, which will help ensure business continuity and prevent any catastrophic failure in services that the construction industry relies on to deliver infrastructure.

The supply chain has shown amazing resilience so far, but we know that further challenges lie ahead. Under social distancing guidelines and operational procedures, we are likely to see reductions in productivity and production capacity, increased lead times, and revenue shortfalls impacting the financial health of suppliers. We can help minimise these impacts and strengthen their businesses by;

  • Giving advanced visibility of our demand pipeline

  • Packaging requirements up in the right way to avoid over dependence, whilst sharing the opportunity

  • Making early contractual commitments to give them order book security

  • Planning works collaboratively

  • Ensuring appropriate payment terms are used to help with their cash position and liquidity

We all have a role to play in taking collective and collaborative action to work with our supply chain partners, help mitigate shared risks, and maintain the health of the supply chain to ensure a sustainable future for the industry.

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