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Northern Powerhouse European Union

Managing your suppliers

This page was last updated on 25 June 2020.

The resilience of a robust supply chain is integral to the performance of many businesses.

Whether your business is large or small you and your customers need to have the confidence that supplies will be delivered at the right time, be of the right quality and at the right price.


What risks does Coronavirus pose to your supply chains? 

There is no doubt that many local businesses are reliant on overseas suppliers and that the Coronavirus Pandemic has had an impact on the supply of goods over the past few months. 


What can you do to alleviate potential supply chain issues?

  • Complete an end-to-end review of your suppliers/supply chains
    • How many are based in impacted areas?
    • Do you have multiple suppliers across different regions?
    • How are your suppliers being impacted?
  • Understand the likelihood of future impacts
    • Consider that there are a growing number of businesses being affected across Europe
  • Complete a detailed review of stock levels to ensure that you have sufficient levels to fulfill upcoming orders
    • Will your own customers order levels be limited by Coronavirus – be wary of over stocking
  • Develop plans to source goods from areas impacted to a lesser degree
    • Ensure you plan in any increased costs and slower delivery times
    • Review cash flow to take into account any higher costs - read our cashflow blog
    • Consider if your product could be redesigned to use alternative available materials
  • The following resources may be of use if you need to source alternative suppliers:  

Above all, be prepared and take decisive action. Contact your suppliers and clients and work with all of them to find common ground. 

Resources to help you

Fact Sheet Fact Sheet

Supply Chain Fundamentals

Download the factsheet
Blog Blog

Offshoring to Reshoring – time for a change?

Read more
Contact Local Suppliers Contact Local Suppliers

Manufacturing Directory

Join the Directory

Engage with your key business partners 

Speak to your advisors, bank, insurers as early as possible to share information and best practice, and to mitigate against potential disruptions to your business, such as cash-flow issues.  

Read our blog on completing a cashflow forecast.

Business owners should look at the terms of their business insurance to understand if they are covered for communicable diseases or outbreaks. Travel insurance should provide cover so long as individuals and businesses follow the latest Foreign and Commonwealth Office travel advice.  
Risk assessment templates and guidance are available via the Health and Safety Executive.  

Understand your contractual obligations

It is important to bear in mind that you may have contractual responsibilities in terms of your supply chain. It is important to review all contracts and documentation to see what rights and remedies you may have in the event that you or your suppliers are unable to deliver to agreed terms.

Open and honest dialogue remains an important element of the business process.

If communication and negotiation fails, you may have remedies in law whether via your individual contracts or through common law. You should ensure that you speak with your legal advisors to see what options you might have should this prove necessary.

For more information get in touch with us here.


Further details on this support can be seen on our Business FAQs page and the GOV.UK Support for Business page 


The information provided is meant as a general guide only rather than advice or assurance. GC Business Growth Hub does not guarantee the accuracy or completeness of this information and professional guidance should be sought on all aspects of business planning and responses to the coronavirus. Use of this guide and toolkit are entirely at the risk of the user. Any hyperlinks from this document are to external resources not connected to the GC Business Growth Hub and The Growth Company is not responsible for the content within any hyperlinked site.

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Strive and Thrive - Supply Chain Resilience 9th July

Join us for a series of sessions, helping your business innovate, adapt and prepare for a new trading environment.

Date: 9th July 2020
Format: Workshops
Location: Zoom - Webinar
Time: 2:00pm - 3:30pm