Navigating supply chain challenges

With supply chain disruption set to continue for some time to come, Chris Pell, general manager at Total Hardware, stresses the importance of working with a strong and reliable supplier.

When it comes to supply chain disruption, it is fair to say that everyone in this industry has been affected at some level. Supply chains and rising costs have knocked many companies off balance and have resulted in businesses adopting agile working methods to help outmanoeuvre market uncertainty.

The scale of the Covid-19 bounce back across our sector has been remarkable and has eclipsed anything most companies have witnessed before. And with the pressures to deliver products in full to make the most of the industry upturn, it has never been more crucial to offer a robust and reliable service to navigate the challenges quickly and efficiently.

We know that fabricators and installers everywhere have been struggling to keep pace with demand. As well as looking to the long term, we also have to minimise day-to-day disruption so we can capitalise on the demand that’s in the market.

So, what can be done?

Here at Total Hardware we’ve made several key investments that have put us in a strong position for the future. And it is also putting us – and our customers – in a strong position right now. It’s why we’ve seen astonishing sales growth in recent months, with some of our product lines increasing by over 100% year-on-year.

So, what are we doing that’s making the difference?

Experts recommend moving away from just-in-time approaches and moving to holding more stock. When you hold more stock you’re more able to smooth out peaks and troughs on the bumpy road to recovery. We extended our Leeds headquarters by 20% last year which meant we have been able to increase stock levels considerably, helping us to keep pace with demand.

The advice is also to avoid being too reliant on too few suppliers. This makes sense – if your main supplier is badly affected, you are too. We work with many of the industry’s leading hardware manufacturers worldwide so we don’t have all our eggs in one basket.

We’re not immune from shortages, but we work hard to build strong relationships and to keep lines of communication open. It’s helping us keep clear oversight of what’s happening in the market and it means we can keep customers informed. In our experience, customers are far more understanding if you’re open and transparent about what’s happening.

Another factor that’s helping us keep things moving is investment in new operational machinery. The result is that our warehouse operation is well-run and efficient, despite the dramatic increase in order and stock volumes.

Alongside everything we’re doing to support our customers at the moment our overall offering is a fundamentally strong proposition. We offer a comprehensive range of products from Yale, Archibald Kenricks, Fullex/UAP, GU and Nico, as well as our own high-quality hardware ranges.

This includes our Quantum range of premium hardware for windows and doors, which is aimed at fabricators who want to differentiate their own product range. For customers working at the premium end of the domestic market, our Superior 25 stainless steel door hardware is a popular choice.

Customer service is our number one focus. We provide a quick quotation turnaround and our investment in the business means we have been able to continue to offer reliable next day deliveries nationwide even in the face of disruption.

With market pressures continuing, there has never been a better time to partner with strong, robust suppliers who support your business by securing your supply chain. And that’s Total Hardware.