We can't comment on every press release that hits our desks, but here are a few market news stories this week that we thought we should bring to your attention, and some of our own you may have missed.
Covid-19 escalates decline of high street - footfall steepest decrease ever says ONS
The Office for National Statistics released figures this week showing that retail sales volume fell sharply by 5.1% in March - the largest fall since the series began as many stores ceased trading from 23 March following official government guidance. Clothing store sales saw a sharp fall compared with the previous month of 34.8%.
Dr. Kerstin Braun, President of international provider of trade finance, Stenn Group, headquartered in the UK, said SMEs will be hardest hit: “Retail shops were already suffering before the coronavirus as a result of changing consumer behaviour … The Covid-19 pandemic has only escalated the decline of the high street and is likely to speed up these inevitable shifts … Due to restrictions and reduced incomes people will be buying less, and further administration filings are inevitable. SMEs, which make up 35% of retail sales, will be hit the hardest and we know that recovery will not be easy. Lenders have been traditionally reluctant to provide loans to shops however rent support programmes, similar to those for furloughed staff, could help to stem the damage and control the effects.”
Procurement and Finance – the crisis is closing the gap
We spoke with Edward Winterschladen, Executive Vice President for Europe at international procurement consultancy Proxima. He shared insights about the state of procurement and its role in handling the coronavirus disruption: “Of course, the perception of procurement has also changed somewhat in this time of crisis. The CPOs we’ve spoken to believe procurement has been thrust right into the eye of the storm. Now they are central to helping organisations shut down supply chains, and do it fast. It is procurement that will keep the supply base informed and maintain relationships for when they need to restart operations. How we treat our suppliers now will put us in good stead on the way out of this crisis — because, in some respects, it’s harder to restart a supply chain than to close one down.” Read more here.
Coronavirus response requires integrated Supply Chain Management — not just Spend Management
This Spend Matters PRO analysis piece has been posted outside the paywall to share more information about strengthening supply chains during the coronavirus crisis. For industries where physical supply chains are severely disrupted, they have bigger issues to worry about than analysing their spend, consolidating spend via strategic sourcing and ensuring that P2P systems are efficiently executing against contracts. Most of the issues stem from the demand side. Supply-side issues like throttled Asian manufacturing capacity still exist, but the current situation is really a broader story about botched federal responses, lack of basic public-private supply chain governance, naked opportunism, weak supply risk management and the inability to manage the complexity of the problem. Here’s what we need.
Coronavirus: vendor news roundup
Good to see so many firms pulling together at this time - see also last week's roundup for more firms' initiatives. This week - in no order other than when it arrived in our inbox:
LevaData launches Supply Risk Navigator to help companies manage Covid-19 shortages
LevaData has announced the availability of its Supply Risk Navigator, giving manufacturers rapid and easy access to an AI platform that’s purpose-built for direct materials sourcing optimisation. The solution not only identifies risks but allows for companies to take the immediate actions needed to prioritise and mitigate them. LevaData is offering this capability to qualified high-tech companies at no cost for three months. Companies producing medical devices or equipment will receive access at no cost throughout 2020. Companies can read more and register here to get started.
Achilles webinar: A tactical approach to COVID-19 for suppliers
On April 29 at 11am BST Achilles Information experts will talk about the risks suppliers are facing, including insolvency, cashflow and force majeure, along with the importance of being visible and giving practical advice. Register here.
Boost Your Workspace competition
Procurify is launching a Boost Your Workspace contest and giving away prizes valued up to $2,500 to help make working from home a little more easy. With each submission Procurify will send a donation of $10 to ConquerCovid19.ca. Prizes are to $2,500 worth of workspace supplies and equipment for your remote home office. Enter the contest here but hurry entries end today!
SureCloud launches free supply chain risk assessment solution
Provider of cloud-based, integrated risk management products and cybersecurity services, SureCloud, had launched a new solution which allows businesses to document their key assets and processes, assess their critical suppliers against a pre-defined question set, then aggregate and report findings through dashboards. In response to the covid-19 supply-chain issue it aims to help organisations to assess the impact on their supply chain. Access that here.
Spend Matters Coronavirus Response - We are asking readers for their view from the Covid-19 trenches, on what you are perceiving and what would really help. Please fill in the survey and tell us your pain points, depending on what you share we’ll follow up with you directly. This is a non-commercial effort to help procurement organisations understand how they can help themselves, their supply chains, and beyond.
Spend Matters - PRO series examining categories of relevant solutions that procurement, finance and supply chain organisations should investigate to reduce, and even mitigate, coronavirus supply risk, is now free - see our coronavirus roundup and interviews with CEOs on procurement in crisis here.
And in other news ...
Medius infographic on supply chain disruption and source-to-pay technology and processes – The Great Toilet Paper Panic
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