Retailers admit to supply chain resilience concerns in new Wincanton report

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This article is brought to you by Retail Technology Review: Retailers admit to supply chain resilience concerns in new Wincanton report.

Wincanton, the supply chain partner for UK business, has launched its Transforming Supply Chain Resilience insight paper, which provides insight into the experiences of retail and eCommerce businesses in the UK and the resilience of their supply chains.

The research finds that almost all (99%) retailers polled believe improving supply chain resilience is “essential” to growth. However, a significant proportion (15%) of these retailers admit that they are failing to achieve the resilience their business success demands.

Mid-market retailers, whose annualised turnover sits between £100m and £500m, are enthusiastic about the prospect of collaborating with trusted partners to address supply chain challenges, with 89% agreeing that this partnership would make their operations more resilient.

Mid-market retailers are more likely (56%) than large retailers (38%) to believe that improving supply chain resilience increases their ability to proactively address market risks. This group was also more likely to think supply chain outsourcing makes operations more resilient.

The research also uncovers the true impact of the people challenge to UK supply chains, with 76% of retailers polled admitting it had negatively affected their ability to serve customers, and 74% believing it had negatively affected their ability to grow as a business.

Wincanton conducted the research in June 2022 and polled over 250 senior leaders of major retail and eCommerce businesses across the UK. Respondents were asked questions about their supply chains including their vulnerabilities, challenges and steps to address these issues.

Supply chain resilience is a critical focus for the logistics sector. For any retailer, the process of delivering its products to their customers efficiently, whether that be in store or at home, is central to success. While this process can often be taken for granted, it is deeply complex and requires high levels of experience, operational sophistication and investment. 

Businesses inevitably face a myriad set of challenges that must be overcome to achieve the levels of consistency and dependability that consumers have come to expect. In short, their supply chain must be resilient enough to cope with these challenges and still deliver.

Commenting on the report, James Wroath, CEO of Wincanton PLC, said: “Our report comes at a uniquely challenging time for domestic and international supply chains, as a number of factors ranging from Covid-19, heightened political and economic risk, and changing labour patterns collide to create issues for businesses' operations. These must be addressed. As we demonstrate through our research, concerns about these impacts are felt acutely in the mid-market segment of the retail sector. These are businesses that do not have the benefits of the vast capital expenditure that their larger competitors have poured into supply chains to achieve greater resilience.

“For these businesses, it is increasingly clear that collaboration to pool resources and alleviate risk is the right way to go. We are seeing this in our own operations where our mid-market customers are seeking a partner to outsource significant parts of, if not all, their supply chain requirements to support their growth ambitions.”

About the research

The research was conducted by Censuswide, with 250 Senior Management and above in the retail and E-commerce sector. The fieldwork took place in UK between 22.06.2022 - 28.06.2022. Censuswide abide by and employ members of the Market Research Society which is based on the ESOMAR principles.

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