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Managing your suppliers

A robust supply chain is integral to the performance of many businesses.

No matter the size of your business, your customers need to have the confidence that you are able to supply high quality products, on time at a good price.

What risks does Coronavirus pose to your supply chains? 

With many businesses relying on suppliers from overseas, Coronavirus has most likely already had an impact on the supply of goods.

What can you do to alleviate potential supply chain issues?

  • Complete an end-to-end review of your suppliers/supply chains
    • How many are based in impacted areas?
    • Do you have multiple suppliers across different regions?
    • How are your suppliers being impacted?
  • Understand the likelihood of future impacts
    • Consider that there are a growing number of businesses being affected across Europe
  • Complete a detailed review of stock levels to ensure that you have sufficient levels to fulfill upcoming orders
    • Will your own customers order levels be limited by Coronavirus – be wary of over stocking
  • Develop plans to source goods from areas impacted to a lesser degree
    • Ensure you plan in any increased costs and slower delivery times
    • Review cash flow to take into account any higher costs 

Remain in contact with your suppliers and clients and work with them to find solutions that work for you all.

Engage with your key business partners

Speak to your advisors, bank and insurers as early as possible to share information and protect against possible disruption to your business.  

Look at the terms of your business insurance to see if you are covered for communicable diseases or outbreaks. 
 
Complete a risk assessment to identify possible risks to your employees and business. Templates are available from the Health and Safety Executive website.

Understand your contractual obligations

Make sure you are aware of and understand any contractual responsibilities you have with your supply chain. It is important to know what rights you may have if you or your suppliers are unable to deliver to agreed terms.

Maintain open and honest dialogue with your suppliers and clients.

If necessary you should speak with your legal advisors to see what options you might have either in contracts or through common law.