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Stop Press: How ENL Group is Meeting Current Supply Chain Challenges

As we head into winter, some of the supply chain challenges that we wrote about in May of this year are rising up the public and political agendas once again.

This is because the twin disruptive events of Brexit and COVID have created a perfect storm that has put supply chains under unprecedented strain. When newspaper headlines are asking whether people will be able to buy their Christmas turkeys, then it is clear that supply chains are under significant pressure.

Anyone following the news will know that the two biggest areas of concern are logistics and energy.

In a previous post, we talked about the way in which the logistics industry had been fuelled by the rise in online shopping caused by the pandemic. That rise in demand, alongside a reduction in the number of qualified HGV drivers following Brexit, has led to a crisis of capacity which is impacting supply chains across the board.

The lack of tanker drivers is also having a very visible impact on key sectors such as fuel, with recent shortages leading to panic buying, and long queues on petrol station forecourts.

Alongside this, consumers are also seeing constrained supply and rising prices for energy. This is a result of a rise in global demand for gas. Last year’s cold winter across Europe left gas levels much lower than usual. At the same time, hot weather in Asia saw more gas used for air-conditioning, while Russian imports to Europe also fell.

The net result has been big increases in the wholesale price of gas. Since the start of the year, they have risen 250%. Since August they have increased by an astonishing 70%.

Impact on UK Manufacturing

Both of these issues are impacting on manufacturing in the UK. Leaders in energy-intensive sectors such as steel are warning that current price levels are running the risk of forcing factory closures. That would have an impact right across the supply chain.

Similarly, the lack of HGV drivers is impacting all UK manufacturers. 89% of all goods transported in the UK are moved directly by road. Whether it is raw materials to leading plastic moulding manufacturers like ENL Group, or finished components to customers. The impact of a struggling logistics industry affects us all.

What is ENL Doing?

At ENL Group, we have been in business for over 60 years, focusing on producing high-quality components, and building strong relationships with our customers. Key to this is our commitment to quality, both of the goods we produce and the service we provide.

This means that, over the past few months, all of our focus has been on making sure that have plans in place to continue to deliver in the way our customers expect. We take our promises to customers extremely seriously. We are always keen to make sure that whatever disruption is happening in the wider world, they receive the goods they expect, when they expect them.

Established Supply Chains

That is why, as a business, we have already invested significant time and resources to create a foundation that ensures business continuity. The key to this is trusted and established supply chains.

These supply chains have often been years in the making. The strength and depth of relationships that we have with suppliers is not something that can be established overnight. They come from our history and heritage, and a trading history of over 60 years.

As a consequence, we already have competitive and established supply chains in place with trusted suppliers in the UK and globally. We have also always tried to ensure that we are not too reliant on a single partner or business for our supplies, helping us manage the risk that comes from wider supply chain disruption.

Scanning the Horizon

At the same time, we also know that businesses, technologies, and markets are continually evolving. This means that we are also always working to develop new partnerships and relationships with suppliers that are able to meet our commitment to quality.

To find those suppliers, we have the experience and capability to look further than some of our competitors. This is helped by the fact that the company is located both in the UK and the EU, with production facilities in Slovakia as well as those in Portsmouth. This gives us an added advantage over competitors when it comes to globally sourcing the materials that we need for our customers.

Be Prepared

Finally, we are also big advocates of the scouts’ motto, “be prepared”.

Over the past year, we have increased our capacity to hold stock, both for ourselves and on behalf of customers. By buying and holding stocks of polymers within our business, as well as increasing our stocks of standard block sizes of steel to support tooling requirements, we have been able to deliver on the promise of reliability that we always make to our customers. Increased stock holdings also mean that many of our customers are benefitting from stable pricing, with materials bought before recent price rises available for use.

A Commitment to Deliver

Here at ENL Group, we cannot guarantee that you will have a turkey on your table this Christmas. Nor can we promise that you will be able to find this season’s must-have toy in a shop on Christmas Eve. However, we can make sure that, when you need high-quality plastic moulded components, ENL Group will be able to deliver them for you.

About ENL Group

ENL Group is based in Portsmouth, UK, and Veľké Kostoľany, Slovakia. Established in 1958, we have been servicing UK-based and European companies for decades. Working with a secure supply chain, ENL provides quality components for quality-driven customers – with full certification for all of our products and quality checking at every stage.

Operating 24/7, we design, manufacture, and deliver critical components for our customers across the UK and Europe.

Contact Us for more information about ENL and how we can help your business.