Supply Chain challenges and the “Pingdemic”

The Covid 19 pandemic’s impact to date on supply chains has proven to be significant, resulting in severe disruptions and driving big changes within logistics, distribution, supply chain management and human resource planning. The pandemics impact on supply chains is far from over however, with the recent rise of the “pingdemic” now continuing to affect many sectors.
As the lockdown restrictions begin to lift further, the use of the NHS track and trace ‘app’ in shops, pubs and restaurants and many public spaces has increased. Due to this, many now fear the resulting “pingdemic” as employees are asked to isolate, removing them from the workplace. The number of staff pinged by the ‘app’ has increased sharply across a wide range of public and private sector workplaces. As a result, staff shortages have been rising.

What effect has the “pingdemic” had on supply chains?

The pandemic has resulted in obvious challenges and these have been exacerbated as a result of the “pingdemic”. The resulting staff shortages, reduced workforce capacity and associated productivity challenges have not only aggravated the problems, but the solutions can be harder to implement.
We have seen supply and demand issues throughout all sectors and the increases in demand due to Consumer concerns, have resulted in supply stress and constricted supply. This combined with reduced capacity in the workplace, has led in the short-term to difficulties in responding to this demand.
Vulnerabilities have been exposed due to a lack of diversification. Single or limited sources of supply have aggravated these issues around supply and demand. Supplier diversification provides resilience in times of stress, offering alternative sources when issues arise. Despite opposing the current trend for lean supply chains, diversification can allow for a balance between resilience and efficiency.

What are the solutions?

Process innovations may offer some solutions during this uncertain period. New technologies are allowing companies to continue performing at greater capacity despite disruptions to staffing. As the cost of automation declines this becomes a viable option for companies struggling with the current challenges. Examples in logistics and distribution, include robots helping to streamline operations, simplifying the complex nature of supply chain management.
With increasing demands due to the pandemic, automations in traditional physical and office-based roles are developing at pace, enabling higher levels of more efficient workflow, keeping up with increasing demand. Robotics and other automations allow businesses to keep up with consumer demand and expectations during this uncertain time.
As well as supporting workers with the increased workload and supporting demand, automation facilitates social distancing within the workplace, which will be beneficial for reducing the spread of the Covid 19 virus in the coming winter months as expected Covid levels increase.
Other people strategies include increasing the use of a flexible employee base, including augmented teams either managed Interim contractors, or consulting support which can be switched on quickly. This is particularly useful when demand levels spike, or to support the periods when you are recruiting and training new staff.

The ability to augment specialist experienced staff in to business-critical projects, or to back-fill in to business-as-usual roles while key staff manage these projects offers a quick and affordable solution.

A flexible, but larger team can ensure operations continue as well as providing more ‘people-power’ in areas stressed by the pandemic. These can be in areas of supplier management, de-risking supply chains, strategic buying and supplier administration.
Covid-19 has resulted in global supply chain struggles and the “pingdemic” has only amplified the strains on many sectors. However, many organisations have highlighted opportunities for development in response to these and through assessment, evaluation and audits, have created more robust risk management processes and strategies.

Prosearch recruitment solutions work with clients to find, assess and recruit the best procurement and supply chain talent for your business. Supply chains are only as strong as the people and processes managing them. 

Get in touch with one of our advisors to discuss how we can help you and your business. We partner with organisations in a transparent and open approach to ensure they have all the external market knowledge and information needed to make the right hiring decisions.

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Discuss – What are the real effects of Brexit for you?

UK supply chains – what you need to know

While COVID-19 is definitely the biggest concern for businesses over the last 18 months, our Procurement and Supply Chain project teams have carefully monitored the effects of Brexit.

Pre-Brexit the EU accounted for approximately half of all imports and exports, playing a critical role in supply chains for finished goods and intermediary products. Since the start of the year, 61% of firms have reported that Brexit has caused them difficulties, with more than a third specifically highlighting delays or additional costs. The Centre for Economic Performance report highlights these challenges (read more).

What problems has Brexit really caused your supply chains?

Increased Costs

The Brexit deal the UK reached with the EU has meant that tariffs were mainly avoided on goods themselves, however the additional paperwork or customs brokers costs have led to an inevitable increase in operational and administrative costs.

For trades to be tariff-free they now need to meet the ‘rules of origin’ requirements, ensuring goods coming from within the EU or in reverse the UK meet these rules.

While each additional cost per trade may be relatively small, this can obviously have a big impact over time especially for SME businesses, or those operating on thin margins who may have to pass these costs on to their end consumers.

Extended Timelines

Additional paperwork and border checks on both sides have led to delays and increased lead times for supply chains involving both imports and exports. While many firms have learnt to factor this into their production timelines over the last 12 months, this has caused significant issues for manufacturers who rely on “just-in-time” supply chains and those dealing with perishables like food that can lose quality while sat at the border.

These delays and lead times can have an impact on the bottom line as customers find companies with faster turnarounds, or those suppliers in the specialist food supply chains who can provide fresher produce.

How to manage these challenges?

Assess your supply chain

To avoid tariffs at the border, you need to carefully assess your suppliers and ensure they have full transparency over the origin of their products and parts. This will allow you to identify and plan for any delays from your suppliers that could impact your business – even if your suppliers are local, their suppliers could be based in Europe, India, China or other lower cost global supply chains.

Assessing and optimising your full supply chain will be one of the best ways to mitigate the risks and problems associated with the Brexit deal.

Improve the people behind your supply chain

You need the right leaders and managers behind your supply chain to be able to capably and confidently handle the changes and obstacles posed by Brexit. As specialist recruiters for procurement and supply chain roles, ProSearch are skilled in assessing, training and recruiting the talent needed to make your business successful.

The same diligence is essential when introducing new suppliers. While for some, the logical option to avoid Brexit supply chain problems will be to simply change from EU suppliers to UK ones, there is no guarantee that these companies will provide the same value and quality that your business needs, if they are supported themselves by international suppliers.

Obtain additional supply chain support

With the extra complications that Brexit has thrown into the world of procurement and supply chain challenges, you may find your business is in need of temporary, project-based or on-demand support. With a vast amount of supply chain consulting expertise, we can help you by providing interim supply chain staff, on-demand procurement resources or supply chain consultancy.

The pandemic has given businesses a larger obstacle to handle but as we return to normality, we need to acknowledge the impact Brexit has had on our supply chains and take steps to manage them effectively for the long-term success of our businesses and the UK economy.

Have you seen problems with your supply chain since Brexit? Let us help you solve them.

Get in touch with one of our advisors to discuss how we can help you and your business. We partner with organisations in a transparent and open approach to ensure they have all the external market knowledge and information needed to make the right hiring decisions for their supply chain.

The Future of Work – Procurement & Supply Chain

Survey Closed. 

If you participated, you will receive an advanced digital report, with Insights to help shape future recruitment and workforce planning in 2021.

The purpose is to assess how organisations are responding to the pandemic in terms of working practices, remote and blended working and changes of individuals preferences for future working, as we look forward to full easing of lockdown restrictions.

The survey was completed by Procurement, Finance and Supply Chain employees in the UK, and Talent Acquisition & Business Leaders with Procurement & Supply Chain teams based in the UK.

Thank you! the report will be publicly available soon… watch this space
Access the right Procurement & Supply Chain expertise

The Private Equity recruitment partner

Access ‘Accredited’ Procurement Excellence, Cost Reduction & Supply Chain Management expertise…

The procurement requirements of an organisation are continually changing and sometimes difficult to predict. Post-funding growth, key supplier development projects, stretch targets, all cause challenges in managing resource, expertise and delivery outcomes.

At the same time, planning and implementing a complex change project where external partners are vetted, tenders issued, presentations made – and all of this before the successful bidder gets anywhere near to starting any actual work – can seem like overkill, especially when you need support NOW.

We have created a suite of easy to access services which allow Private Equity clients to benefit from our group consulting expertise, providing expertise and flexible capacity to portfolio management teams as and when its needed – only paying for precisely what is required.

The outcome:  Less cost, maximum impact.


Our ‘Accredited’ Consultant program allows you to choose…

Short-term flexible ‘Interim’ support, through to ‘On Demand’ fixed cost consulting team delivery

Option 1 – Benefits of experienced Interim support:
  • Quickly leverage expertise and knowledge
  • Flexible resourcing = right-sizing for procurement teams
  • Sector/category expertise and leveraging Procura Consulting knowledge
  • On-site or remote (or an optimum mix)
Option 2 – On-Demand Consulting – puts you in control:
  • Project team support
  • Ready-to-go … turn on and off
  • Fixed cost option
  • Output-based deliverables
  • Optional outcome-based incentivisation
Examples of projects:
  • Pre-funding benchmarking
  • Post funding growth support
  • Get Cost-reduction projects over the line and savings secured
  • One-off sourcing projects completed successfully
  • Specific negotiation projects completed
  • Brexit planning
  • Global sourcing – risk management support
We help you deliver. It is that simple.

For more information about our range of ‘Accredited’ Interim & ‘On-Demand’ Procurement Support, contact a ProSearch Partner – or call +44 (0)203 693 7275

Sustainable Procurement Pulse Survey

Consumers, investors and employees are putting increasing pressure on organisations to minimise their negative social and environmental impacts.

Procurement and supply chain operations represent the largest sources of an organisation’s social and environmental impacts.

Understanding the impacts and how to address these can be extremely challenging. Evaluating how you are managing this process compared to others is also difficult.

However, if you complete the Procura Sustainable Procurement Survey (12 confidential questions, no more than 5 minutes of your time) you will receive a digital report containing the results, insights and recommendations.

Access the survey here > Procura Sustainability Pulse Survey


‘How to guide’ for training & interview support

The Purchasing Profile is a self-diagnostic questionnaire-based toolkit, which helps organisations assess & improve their purchasing effectiveness in a fast, cost effective manner and used to support organisational design and prioritise team, or personal training & development.

The Profile can also be used to support procurement and functional stakeholders during the recruitment process.

The toolkit combines the best of purchasing experiences with methodologies used in psychometric testing to produce a tool which is statistically reliable and more accurate than many traditional techniques.

Training & Personal Development planning

  • Assess organisational working practices and training priorities
  • Understand the strengths & weaknesses of your team
  • Signpost how to achieve best-in-class processes

Recruitment & Assessment support

  • Test knowledge and experience of candidates during the interview process
  • Supports development of competency based questions prior to online interviews

At the heart of the profile are 20 elements present in the purchasing & supply chain activities of best-in-class organisations, each supported by a set of positive and negative indicators. These help organisations and individuals identify the extent to which each is present in their current procurement processes.

Central to the process is the completion of two questionnaires:

1. The Aspiration Workbook.
A facilitative tool used by a manager or stakeholder group to agree the level of competency required for each of the 20 elements

2. The Purchasing Profile Questionnaire.
Completed online, the individual responses collectively provide the profile of the organisation’s purchasing capability.

The profile, based on the collective responses, can then be mapped on to the aspiration to identify possible gaps. This helps target development budgets on specific high priority issues, rather than spreading it thinly over all areas.

The Purchasing Profile does not require a large amount of management time and does not result in large cumbersome reports and is priced from £75 per report, or free if used as part of a ProSearch recruitment campaign.

Email Tony Goldsby at for a Purchasing Profile information pack


Why don’t you also access the full Survey report outlining the use of training and assessment tools by Procurement & Supply Chain leaders



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