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Manufacturing: What questions are being asked?

In this article, Brett Hemingway, Regional Operations at Venatu Recruitment Group gives his insight on recent conversations he has been having with business leaders around the challenges the manufacturing sector is experiencing as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Planning through these uncertain times can feel somewhat impossible, so now more than ever it’s about ‘controlling the controllables’ (obvious hey?). Communication with customers remains key, but engagement with your suppliers and the extended supply chain is just as important.

So, what questions are being asked?

Manufacturing levels

  • How quickly will companies be able to increase production, given that current productions levels in certain sectors are below 25% of capacity right now?
  • PPM Schedules will without question have been pulled forward during this period, will this be completed? Are there potential implications if not for production?

Supply chains

  • Predominantly outsourced to overseas suppliers and on “just in time” inventory basis – will these suppliers be able to support a sudden surge in demand for raw material? As demand increases for you, it will for competitors: are you at the front of the queue with your suppliers?
  • If the availability of core and key materials is reduced, how robust are current suppliers and suppliers supply chains? Are there alternative suppliers?
  • Is there potential for the movement of supply chains quickly?

Furloughed Staff

  • “Furloughed” staff must be off work for a minimum of 3 weeks – what happens if there is an overlap of government legislation and the need to increase production with that 3-week period?

Staffing levels

  • Do you have the right people in the right places to ensure a smooth but rapid increase in production levels?
  • We have seen a huge increase in demand for Pharma, Food Manufacturing and similar industries, creating a potential shortfall of talent and experienced people. Do you have an available workforce to support a sudden increase in staffing levels if/ when required?

We do not yet know how long it will be until we get through this, but one thing remains clear, we will get through this. And when that time comes, businesses will need to be both cautious and innovative: balancing immediate needs with flexibility and speed will be key to returning to full capacity, and what will be the “new” normal.

These questions are just a snapshot of discussions that our clients have been asking themselves and their employees. What questions are you asking yourselves? Are you a business owner or manager with insight to share?

Since our beginning in 2016, Venatu has been working in partnership with businesses to consult, assess and improve their recruitment strategy. We provide expert advice across multiple sectors including Engineering & Manufacturing, Supply Chain & Procurement, across the following areas:

  • Business Structure
  • Salary Benchmarking
  • Current market trends
  • Workforce skills benchmarking
  • Identification of skill gaps & critical hire/s

For more information, please contact Brett on 07585 899607 or email brett.hemingway@venatu.co.uk

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Posted: 16 April 2020

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