Supply in the News – October Round-Up!

Businesses across the UK are getting ready for Black Friday and Cyber Monday at the end of November – the biggest weekend of the year when it comes to retail revenue.

With 47% of UK customers predicting they’ll spend over £200 over the course of the sales event, it’s crucial for small businesses and their supply chains to be organised.

We’ll look at how you can prepare for Black Friday at the end of this article. But before then, let’s look at some of the other supply chain news stories that grabbed our attention this month.

  • Price rises continue to have an impact. In last month’s article, we looked at increasing prices causing problems for supply chains, and this appears to be a continuing trend. For example, Unilever advised that its costs would increase next year when fixed-price deals with suppliers expired.
  • Egg shortages as bird flu hits UK. An outbreak of bird flu has led to a shortage of eggs, with concern that bird culls will also affect the price and availability of turkey in the run-up to Christmas.
  • Royal Mail set to cut 10,000 jobs. Following losses and industrial action, Royal Mail is looking to cut several thousand jobs by August 2023. The Communication Workers Union recently announced strikes around Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
  • Supply chains urged not to let modern slavery become an issue. With the UK not having an independent anti-slavery commissioner in place since April, supply chains and businesses have been reminded to stay vigilant.
  • A quarter of UK retailers now charge for returns. A survey has revealed that one in four of the UK’s top retailers now charge customers to return items. A recent development in ‘reverse logistics’, many retailers now charge to cover supply chain costs and to encourage customers to think twice about ordering items they don’t want.

In conclusion: don't forget to prepare for Black Friday

It’s essential to get organised for major retail events like Black Friday as soon as possible. Ideally, you should be sitting down with your suppliers in the summer.

You should know what items you will be lowering the price of, what you forecast the effect on sales will be, and how many returns to anticipate. Previous Black Friday sales data will help give you a rough idea.

Once you have this information, it’s a case of meeting with your suppliers and seeing if they can meet demand. Is there anything you can do to help them, or can you use additional suppliers to manage extra sales? Don’t forget that a supply chain management system like Opply can help you get organised.

Black Friday is a challenging time for both small businesses and their supply chains. However, by preparing and being willing to flex, it can be a profitable time of the year for everyone!

Want to learn more about managing your supply chain? Check out our blog for news, insights and useful information!

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