CEO Blog #5: Bridging the gap between supply and demand - time to think outside the box?

The Coronavirus is having a dramatic effect on the manufacturing industry. Some manufacturers have ceased production completely and their sites have closed for the foreseeable future. Whereas others, such as those in food or pharmaceutical manufacturing, are seeing demand for products surging. Some more agile manufacturers that may have been expected to shut shop have diversified their offering — car manufacturers supporting the production of ventilators and fashion brands producing vital PPE equipment for the NHS.

For manufacturers dealing with soaring demand, these are challenging times. The biggest concern right now is likely to be how they are going to get goods to their customers as quickly as possible.

For those who are shifting their focus, that challenge is even bigger - fulfilling the commitments they have made to their customers, whilst producing products which their workforce may have little to no experience in.

One of the most pressing considerations in either of those scenarios will be not only ensuring you have the right number of staff, but the right quality of staff. The challenge of meeting high demand is great, but so is ensuring it is done safely and efficiently.

Hiring responsible staff, who will adhere to the strict health and safety protocols you have in place but will also deliver efficiently and effectively will be key. There is a substantial pool of job-seekers at the moment, but hiring people who have the right experience or transferable skills might also be crucial to enable your business to meet its requirements.

This is where a little bit of thinking outside of the box might be required. You may not have to limit yourself to employing staff from the same sector, or even the same industry. Food manufacturers up and down the country, for example, have discussed in recent recruitment drives that they would be keen to speak to people from the hospitality sector as they would already be familiar with food hygiene standards. It is about finding staff who are likely to have the transferable skills which are crucial for delivering the quality of products that your customers require.

And if you are diversifying, as other manufacturers see a downturn in output, there is likely to be plenty of immediately available workers, who have experience in these sectors and could enhance your offer, looking for temporary work.

Whatever your needs might be, considering your temporary and interim solutions will provide you with access to fully referenced and immediately available candidates as and when you require them. Opening up opportunities to candidates that you may not normally consider, but who are likely to add immediate value to your output will mean you are able to quickly and efficiently deal with changes in demand as they occur.

For more information on how our Engineering & Manufacturing team can support you now, and in the future, contact John Bohan, Senior Director on 07985 151 131 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. You can also find out more on our dedicated page.

In the next blog in our CEO series, Greg discusses the difficulties facing business who need to recruit for business critical roles and why now isn’t the time to completely hit pause on your search. Look out for ‘Business critical resource requirements been put on hold?’, due out next week. Visit our news page to see the other latest blogs in the series.

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