Bestway Wholesale has called on its supplier partners to offer a balanced approach with regards to delivery of orders, with the supply chain facing difficult decisions over who to supply first and where to prioritise.
Managing director Dawood Pervez has called for greater collaboration and consideration across the supply chain in the face of increasing pressure due to the coronavirus, stating that there is enough stock to meet everyone’s needs but the shift in consumer behaviour alongside challenges in the continuity of business resourcing in line with government guidelines, is leading to supply shortages.
“Local independent retail stores and community shops are proving to be essential to their local communities,” he explained, “and it is vital that we can keep their shelves stocked. These retailers account for £40bn of the UK’s grocery shopping basket, and by their very nature are as important right now as the supermarket multiples – if not more so – as people stay as close to their homes as possible.
“This shouldn’t be a question of ‘who shouts loudest’ and nor should it be about the commercials of who has the biggest purchasing power. It’s about sensible trading to cover all the national and local networks. Right now, we all need to work together to ensure an even distribution of inventory to guarantee continuity of supply and get everyday staples to those who need them,” he added.
Pervez also pointed out that for Bestway, it’s not just about supplying the independent retailers: “although this is a critical channel, we are also supplying care homes, prisons, and some school sites who all depend on our availability.”
He then highlighted that there are many instances where goods-in to Bestway have been cancelled or short delivered due to supply pressure – at a time where depot footfall by independent retailers has increased by over 30%.
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“We have kept our depots open seven days a week since the outbreak began,” he confirmed, “and, we are reacting with speed and agility to mobilise new ways of working with our supply partners to accommodate the continued disruption in supply alongside a reduced workforce. This includes adapting to new pack sizes as manufacturers cut range in favour of core SKUs and plain pack variants and collaboration with foodservice wholesalers who have inventory to sell and we’re offering to collect products from suppliers facilities to ease delivery burdens, or adopt central delivery into one hub,” Pervez concluded.