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Fuel crisis and the impact on UK businesses

by LLB staff reporter
30th Sep 21 1:48 pm

As the fuel crisis continues in the UK, Mark Lumsdon-Taylor, partner at MHA, says businesses need a new approach based on data to better understand the complexity of supply chains, anticipate disruption and respond quickly to any issues to mitigate risks to food security in the UK and protect the functioning of global supply chains:

“Even before the current ‘panic buying’ fuel crisis, fundamental changes in consumer behaviour, supply chains, and routes to market have been knocking UK companies off balance.

“Yet again, the shortage of Heavy Goods Vehicle (HGV) drivers (and labour per say) has underscored the need for political and industry leaders (including in sectors such as food manufacturing, fast-moving consumer goods or FMCG, and aviation) to accelerate the adoption of agile ways of working and value chain transformation to help outmanoeuvre uncertainty. This more than simply looking at getting more drivers into the country via temporary visas.

“The speed at which the escalation of this fuel crisis has occurred requires continuous end-to-end assessment, optimisation and monitoring. Companies need to respond rapidly and confidently to shape and execute a short-term tactical plan that will mitigate the risks to food security in the UK and protect the functioning of global supply chains.

“To do this, they need to have access to proper data and analytics capabilities as these are crucial in understanding the complexity of supply chains, anticipating potential disruption, and quickly developing an immediate response. Segments of the food supply chain, such as the major multiples (i.e. Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury’s and Morrisons) use their data exceptionally well, however other sectors are not as advanced, including parts of downstream supply and transport. We need a new approach and we need to invest in data.

“Thinking outside of the box and working collectively by sectors can future proof the UK supply chain, not stockpiling. We need to get to the route cause to learn and avoid making the same mistakes time after time.”

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