The rate at which staff shortages are rising in the UK at the moment is astonishing. This is particularly the case for the hospitality and supply chain industry, where recent data from The Office of National Statistics revealed that there were as many as 134,000 vacant roles in the accommodation and food services sectors between July and September this year.
Since the pandemic took hold, many businesses have struggled to reopen as staff shortages continue to fall. It’s not just kitchen staff either, shortages are across the board from finance and IT to management.
As we look towards what has traditionally been one of the busiest periods of the year for businesses, many fear that lack of staff and issues across the wider supply chain will severely impact the festive season, with many businesses having to close. External supply chain fragility itself is also having a knock-on effect on internal resources, placing additional pressure points around existing resource, which has little, if no, extra bandwidth to play with.
For example, business are finding themselves in the difficult position of having to accept multiple site deliveries from numerous suppliers because individual merchants are unable to source every item required. Although this has initially been an external issue for many business, it does have a huge impact on managers and teams internally. Managing such a fragmented supply chain is a haphazard distraction for already pressurised businesses who are firefighting to survive, because they are taken away from their usual roles and duties. This is not helped by the fact that there are not enough members of staff to reduce the burden.
eProcurement platforms are being used by many businesses to reduce that time and resource pressure that businesses currently face. Although nothing is an overnight fix, with less staff on the ground, businesses need to make the best use of technology to alleviate some of those processes that can simply add to the already long list of issues. Whether that is reducing the manpower needed to keep on top of inventory and purchasing via automation, or making sure you stick to budgets and don’t overspend, streamlining these processes will remove the reliance on human intervention where possible and hopefully ease some of the time pressures faced.