Pre-Brexit planning pays dividends

Bohle has said that its supply chain remains uninterrupted despite wider shortages of components and building materials.

The glass hardware and consumables specialist said that extensive planning pre-Brexit had allowed it to strengthen its supply network, increasing stock-holding and reducing lead times across its offer on a wide range of products.

This meant that its stockholding at the company’s UK distribution centre was now higher than at any time in the past, despite pressures on availability of construction and building materials more widely.

Dave Broxton, managing director of Bohle, said: “The reality was that on Christmas Eve last year we didn’t know what we would be dealing with come New Year’s Eve and what sort of a deal we would have.

“That meant we planned for a wide range of scenarios, one of which was to introduce direct supply from our European headquarters in Haan, Germany, to the UK, rather than getting deliveries as part of a European-wide distribution.

“That’s allowed us to streamline our processes, reduce lead times, increase stock-holding and ultimately deliver a better service to our customers.”

The changes introduced at the start of this year mean that Bohle no longer supplies its larger customers direct from Germany but instead via its UK distribution centre.

Holding more product in stock in the UK has meant that Bohle has been able to reduce lead times on those products from three-to-five days to a maximum of 48 hours and, in most cases, in 24.

With more than 12,000 products available online, Bohle customers can place orders 24/7 across its hardware, glass handling, cutting, glazing, consumables and tool ranges.

This is in stark contrast to the ‘mood music’ coming out of the construction and building products supply chain more generally, the company said. The Construction Leadership Council, publishing a joint statement at the start of April with the Builders Merchants Federation and the Construction Products Association, warned of significant disruption and shortages.

“With the demand that we’re seeing from our customers, including a record month in March, a robust supply chain is a major benefit to our customers, while increased stock-holding is also evidence of Bohle’s commitment to the UK glass processing, IGU and home improvement sectors,” Dave said.