PSC Global’s Supply Chain Management expertise delivers despite crisis

Global news headlines have screamed ‘chaos’, ‘disruption’ and ‘bottlenecks’ in the same breath as any mention of supply chains for many months. Diverse industries from car manufacturers and house builders to fast food outlets and pubs have suffered empty shelves, fuel tanks, pallets and barrels in a widespread display of shortage and delay. “The world is still short of everything” declared the New York Times, “Get used to it.” 

The outbreak of the pandemic in early 2020, first in China and subsequently the entire globe, has undoubtedly had immense, ongoing repercussions. But is Covid wholly responsible for the disorder and scarcity? What other factors negatively influenced conditions? Let’s consider how and why supply chains have been malfunctioning for more than a year. We’ll compare PSC Global’s experience, underpinned by effective, robust SCM procedures, over the same period to evaluate the distinctions.

Covid’s impact is profound; it unleashed a string of events that immediately strained and ultimately broke the world’s supply networks. Restrictions imposed to inhibit the virus’ spread caused factory closures, prevented deliveries and created raw material and microchip shortages. Just as the making and movement of goods became more difficult, people were housebound and spending the disposable income they’d previously have used socially on consumer goods. This explosion in demand was mismatched with a lack of air and sea freighter capacity, shipping containers in the wrong places at the wrong times, HGV driver shortages and severe congestion at the UK’s largest container port, Felixstowe. 

However, supply chains were showing signs of weakness before Covid. The trend for economic nationalism, whether Brexit or US - China trade conflict, has produced new tariffs, border red tape and immigration controls, all of which make global trading more complicated. UK business leaders complain the shortage of EU nationals in the British workforce has left gaping holes in haulage, warehousing, hospitality and assembly personnel. 

In a recent Office for National Statistics survey covering business conditions, 17% of firms trying to get goods and materials from the EU between 4th and 31st October last year reported they were unable to, while 11% couldn’t obtain goods from within the UK. However, the survey data suggests supply chain concerns have existed for much longer, between 15 and 20% of businesses reporting issues getting supplies from the EU since February 2021, and around 10% consistently reporting problems within the UK since June 2020. 

The combination of Covid, Brexit and now the war in Ukraine has highlighted the complex interdependencies characteristic of global supply chains. Alarmed by current crises, many countries have started to bring their supply chains back on shore to eliminate some of the numerous complications. Germany has learned to its cost the huge implications of its deep-rooted dependence on Russian energy. Simultaneously, industry heads question the viability of the Just-In-Time supply chain model against a backdrop of global weather, political and health disasters. Last March’s blocking of the Suez Canal by the Ever Given lasted six days causing chaos around the world and holding up trade worth $9.6 billion daily. Faced with delays extending into months some companies have started chartering their own ships.

Against this trend, PSC Global operated confidently, secure in the knowledge its effective processes and relationships would ensure products would reach customers when, where and in the quantities required most cost efficiently. It's been perfecting bespoke supply chain solutions that exceed customers’ expectations for 30 years. 

Having achieved ISO 9001 certification, PSC Global’s credited with achieving rigorous quality systems and organisation standards. The accolade demonstrates operational expertise and will satisfy customers demanding this stringent industry standard. In the current unpredictable, complicated world we live in, such competence is critical for survival, let alone success. 

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