Stress in the Material Supply Chain and a Labour Shortage Sparks Search for Skilled Labour

As we move into the second half of the year, the post-Brexit trade complications and a hoped-for tail-end of the Covid crisis brings fresh challenges to many walks of life.

The Food & Drink Manufacturing and Parcel Distribution sectors of industrial automation in which Elmleigh operate are no exception. Over the past few months, we have seen an increase in demand for our project management, system design, control panel assembly, and installation services as many of our clients extend and renew their automated processes. 

However, with this increasing demand for both our services and from the construction industry as a whole, we are finding that many specialist parts and even some run-of-the-mill materials, essential for our control and automation projects, are often on back orders with multiple suppliers. These are materials that were previously available ex stock for next-day delivery but we’re finding that the delays can extend over many weeks and well beyond expected planning horizons.

With OEM distributors frequently unable to provide any delivery security, we are therefore ever more reliant on the fantastic relationships that our Buyers have developed and nurtured with our valued suppliers. Time after time, as the current stresses in the supply chain begin to bite, our guys are 'pulling rabbits out of hats' to keep our programmes on schedule. It's an incredibly valuable asset for Elmleigh as we navigate through these increasingly uncertain times.

There’s currently a similar issue with low availability of the electrical installation skills critical for delivering our services to the food and drink manufacturing and parcel distribution sectors. Nationally, there are currently several large-scale construction projects underway (Hinckley Point to HS2) that are sucking up a large proportion of the available resources and making it increasingly difficult for those operating in our industrial sector to find thr labour to keep projects on-programme. 

However, Elmleigh’s excellent reputation for good subcontractor management through prompt payment and safe working practices is proving an enviable asset in attracting these required skills. We are proud and fortunate to have a back-office team that is so diligent in the engagement process and take great care in maintaining the welfare of our many Approved Subcontractors who make up the teams of ‘subbies’ we rely on.

Our ‘subbies’, suppliers and the Elmleigh Buyers are the backbone of the services that we provide, so we’d really like to take a moment to shout out a celebration of thanks for the evident effort that goes into every day, week-in, week-out, weekends, nights, and throughout all the challenges our projects present!

Interested in becoming an approved subcontractor? Find out more about the role on our dedicated job listing and submit your credentials to join the Elmleigh team!

For more information on what we do please get in touch today.

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