By Neil Butters, Head of Procurement at PfH
Since the coronavirus outbreak, PfH have undergone a period of due diligence and have been actively engaging with our bank of strategic suppliers to gain greater understanding regarding the potential exposure to global supply chain risk.
It is evident that Chinese New Year has mitigated the impact so far, as suppliers who source from China typically plan ahead and increase stock in the run up to CNY. At present, the spread of Covid-19 has not materially impacted supply across a wider geography, but clearly the situation is live.
From engaging with our supplier base, the general feedback is that they are confident exposure to tier one supply chain risk is minimal and being mitigated. Analysis of tiers 2 and beyond have proven difficult and needs further exploration with conversations ongoing. However, the positive being that some factories are open, up and running with a regular flow of staff.
With PfH having one of the most extensive supply chains within the sector, we do not underestimate the need for ongoing analysis and research with national merchants and local merchants alike in order to mitigate risk.
If necessary, PfH account cards can be used across the wider PfH materials merchant supply chain in order to maintain product availability whilst retaining spend control and visibility and we will continue to support Members where required in identifying product, manufacturer and merchant alternatives should we start to see scarcity across particular product lines.
As mentioned, PfH will continue to engage with our supply chain and monitor the situation closely to ensure that Members experience minimum disruption.