Critical Issues: Manufacturing/Supply Chain

Critical issues are thought provoking articles relating to strategy, legislation, technology, best practice and some of the most challenging business topics in the world of manufacturing and supply chain information technology. The articles in this section have been contributed by leading vendors, industry leaders, research analysts, trade associations and consultancies and cover a variety of topics relating to the manufacturing, warehousing, logistics, transportation and distribution marketplace across Europe. They look at market trends, improvements in technology and some thought provoking comment on all aspects of optimising and improving efficiencies throughout the supply chain from raw material to finished product.

Other important topics covered in this section concern Health and Safety in Logistics with articles from the Health & Safety Executive (HSE).Taxation, government policy, climate change, recruitment and training schemes are all covered, as well as educational opportunities at various UK logistics educational facilities such at Cranfield University

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Managing procurement challenges with advanced planning solutions

1 Managing procurement challenges with advanced planning solutions

By Stephen Dombroski, Director of Consumer Markets, QAD

From erratic customer behaviour to seasonal demand spikes, and the ever-increasing expectations of consumers, businesses must navigate these complexities to ensure efficient procurement and delivery of goods.

Transportation management can drive more sustainable supply chains: Here’s how…

2 Transportation management can drive more sustainable supply chains: Here’s how…

By Craig Summers, Managing Director UKI, MEA & Nordics, Manhattan Associates.

Sustainability is no longer a luxury – it is a priority for businesses and a necessity for retailers and consumers alike. Reducing a company’s environmental impact requires many changes across an enterprise, but improvements to supply chains can make the largest overall impact.

Make UK comment on Chancellor's speech & Housing announcement

3 Make UK comment on Chancellor's speech & Housing announcement

Commenting on the speech by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Stephen Phipson, Chief Executive of Make UK, said:

UK Warehousing Association welcomes new Government

4 UK Warehousing Association welcomes new Government

By UKWA CEO, Clare Bottle.

The UK Warehousing Association welcomes the opportunity to work with the new Government to tackle key issues that are important to our sector, including decarbonising the electricity network, reforming the planning system, modernising apprenticeships and promoting innovation in warehousing.

High-growth supply chain businesses adopting AI and Machine Learning at faster pace than competitors

5 High-growth supply chain businesses adopting AI and Machine Learning at faster pace than competitors

According to the 2024 Agility Index research study from Epicor and Nucleus Research, nearly half of surveyed companies across the make, move, and sell industries cited concern over escalating costs as the foremost challenge confronting supply chains, with more than half using artificial intelligence, automation, or machine learning for at least one supply chain management application to address.

BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT responds to the election of Sir Keir Starmer and the new government

6 BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT responds to the election of Sir Keir Starmer and the new government

Rashik Parmar MBE, Chief Executive of BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT, comments: “The new Prime Minister has a unique opportunity to take a positive view of AI and high stakes technologies, making sure they transform the lives of everyone in the UK.

IMI response as the Labour party receives mandate to lead government

7 IMI response as the Labour party receives mandate to lead government

The Institute of the Motor Industry welcomes the opportunity to engage with the new government. The Labour party clearly identified its understanding of the importance of skills for UK infrastructure in its manifesto....

Four Things to Consider when Looking for 3PL Europe

8 Four Things to Consider when Looking for 3PL Europe

By Alastair Cooke, freelance writer.

If you are currently considering a third-party logistics company partnership in Europe, it is imperative you properly evaluate its technological capabilities. With the world becoming more and more digitalized, logistics providers with advanced technology can offer a wide range of efficient and transparent services.

Manufacturing industry accounted for 12% of UK administrations in 2024, analysis reveals

9 Manufacturing industry accounted for 12% of UK administrations in 2024, analysis reveals

The manufacturing industry accounted for 12% of administrations in the first six months of 2024 – the second highest sector in the UK – according to analysis by full-service law firm Shakespeare Martineau.

Emptying the bins with IoT: reducing waste and improving manufacturing productivity

10 Emptying the bins with IoT: reducing waste and improving manufacturing productivity

Manufacturers face rising energy and labour costs, regulatory pressures, and growing environmental responsibilities. Among their common challenges is waste management inefficiency. Internet of Things (IoT) technology offers a solution that equips bins with sensors to monitor fill levels.

Manufacturing Critical Issues

The manufacturing industry is facing a number of critical issues, including:

  • Supply chain disruptions. The COVID-19 pandemic and geo-political tensions/war has caused widespread disruption to global supply chains, and this is having a significant impact on manufacturing. Manufacturers are struggling to get the raw materials and components they need to produce their products, and this is leading to shortages and delays.
  • Labour shortage. The manufacturing industry is facing a labor shortage, as there are not enough skilled workers available to fill open positions. This is due to a number of factors, including the aging workforce, the decline of manufacturing in some countries, and the lack of educational opportunities in STEM fields.
  • Rising costs. The cost of manufacturing is rising, due to factors such as the rising cost of raw materials, energy, and transportation. This is putting pressure on manufacturers' margins and making it difficult for them to compete.
  • Technology adoption. The manufacturing industry is facing the challenge of adopting new technologies, such as automation and artificial intelligence. These technologies can help manufacturers to improve efficiency and productivity, but they can also be expensive and disruptive to implement.
  • Environmental regulations. Manufacturers are facing increasing environmental regulations, which are forcing them to change their production processes. This can be costly and time-consuming, but it is essential for manufacturers to comply with these regulations in order to remain competitive.

Supply Chain Critical Issues

The global supply chain has been facing a number of critical issues in recent years, including

  • Labour shortages: The COVID-19 pandemic has led to labor shortages in many industries, including manufacturing, transportation, and warehousing. This has made it difficult to find and retain workers, which has led to delays and disruptions in the supply chain.
  • Equipment shortages: The global supply chain is also facing shortages of equipment, such as containers, trucks, and ships. This is due to a number of factors, including the pandemic, the war in Ukraine, and increased demand for goods.
  • Port congestion: Port congestion has been a major issue in recent years, as ships have been waiting for days or even weeks to unload their cargo. This is due to a number of factors, including increased demand, labor shortages, and weather events.
  • Demand volatility: Demand for goods has been volatile in recent years, as consumers have shifted their spending habits due to the pandemic. This has made it difficult for businesses to forecast demand and manage their supply chains accordingly.
  • Natural disasters: Natural disasters, such as hurricanes, floods, and earthquakes, can also disrupt the supply chain. These events can damage infrastructure, disrupt transportation, and destroy inventory.

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