Pandemic manufacturing industry changes

COVID-19 has forced many manufacturers to review their operations, with agile businesses reacting quickly to this new trading environment. Once the COVID hurdle is behind us, we will see a different manufacturing sector and I think the industry will be better for it as adversity drives change, says Cuong Vo, vice president of RS Components (Australia and New Zealand).

Our business has observed the need for manufacturers to restructure their businesses to meet customer demands while making provisions to ensure they can operate financially. Some manufacturers have sought government support and larger companies have sought outside investment.

Manufacturers have mentioned the need of finding other revenue streams through diversifying the resources and facilities they currently have. Companies that rely heavily on exporting are recalibrating the impact of supply chain costs with the possibility of increasing their prices. In addition, driving end to end supply chain efficiencies is the biggest short-term initiative.

The COVID-19 situation has accelerated the digital journey for many manufacturers, cyber security has been highlighted as an issue facing many companies. Most companies are looking at external consultants to assist in this area.

At RS Components we have observed that on time delivery of our products has been of value to the manufacturing industry. Companies have shifted from pre-covid procurement strategies to aligning with suppliers who can offer continuity of supply.

Many industries including mining, oil, gas and food and beverage have not seen a decline in activity. Yet in some instances the ability of their suppliers has been constrained by circumstances around COVID-19. RS Components has invested significant resources into distribution, and were able to meet demand from major companies, through to engineers needing a single component urgently. Holding approximately 50,000 products domestically, ensures that we are likely to have that product in our facilities.

The omni channel interface we have adopted, which includes a robust customer centric eCommerce platform backed up by customer support ensured that RS Components are able to fulfil orders whilst staff are working from home. We also engender confidence with our customers, in that we are actively providing added value, and some of our customers are considering RS Components for their additional requirements; for instance, PPE.

It is the companies that were customer centric in their outlook pre COVID, as well as being structured in a way that allowed for agility during shifts in the market that will come out of this crisis well.