Chris Evans

13th September 2021

Plimsoll Analysis

Amid a perfect storm of pressures, how do you secure your supply chain?

Who would be a Supply Chain Manager in 2021? Maintaining a constant stream of raw materials and resources to keep their business operating is becoming a near-impossible task for many. Brexit chaos, labour shortages, shipping crises, haulage capacity limitations, intense competition for raw materials and, all that in the face of an explosion in post-pandemic demand. 

Examples of how supply chains are under unprecedented pressure are increasingly well documented. Nando’s have run out of chicken and closed 50 stores while other leading food and drink purveyors including McDonald's, Subway, KFC and Wetherspoons are all running out of stock. Elsewhere, UK car manufacturing output has fallen to its lowest level since the Suez crisis in 1956 while the shortage of building timber, cement and other materials is hampering the construction sector. Few parts of the UK economy are unaffected.

With many economists predicting that these problems are more than a temporary blip and will last into the near term, those managing supply chains need to get creative. Most companies operating JIT supply chains need clarity of insight, a list of alternative options (both domestic and overseas) and a better understanding of suppliers they currently rely on.

Plimsoll has launched an all-new Procurement module designed with the busy, and currently embattled, supply chain professional in mind. It provides on-demand answers to the key questions professionals have including:

  • Who are the alternative suppliers if parts of my supply chain fail?
  • If I cannot source domestically, what options do I have from abroad?
  • Which parts of my supply chain are financially vulnerable?
  • Which suppliers do I have the most purchasing power with?
  • Should our business bring part of the supply chain in-house with an acquisition?

The Procurement module gives supply chain professionals instant access to the analysis they need to proactively manage one of the most important parts of any business. Key features of this unrivalled analytical platform include:

Instantly finding alternate suppliers

The main challenge of any supply chain professional is maintaining availability and sustaining just in time processes. The most effective way to achieve that is to have numerous fail-safe scenarios built into your purchasing database. If one supplier is unable to fulfil, where do you go next?

The Procurement module allows you to upload your current list of preferred and active suppliers into our system. In minutes, we will provide you with a lookalike list of alternates that you can approach to supply the materials you need. While your competitors are looking through Google and trade directories to find materials, you will have a verified list of companies just like those that already serve you – and an assessment of their financial health.

Look overseas for alternate suppliers

If sourcing from your domestic market is increasingly overly crowded and stock becomes scarce, why not look at alternatives from overseas?

The Procurement module allows you to find new supply possibilities in regions outside your home country. Upload your supplier database or use our multi-criteria search functions to find alternate suppliers from outside your resident country.

Spot vulnerabilities in your current supply chain

Supplier failure can be devastating for even the most financially stable and conscientious company. The operational stability of your own business can be completely undermined by the poor financial stewardship at a supplier you are reliant on.

The Procurement module allows you to monitor the immediate and long-term financial health of the suppliers you rely on. Spot early signs of financial stress in a business so you have ample time to source new options and avoid costly and painful surprises.

9 out of 10 previously failed businesses were rated as “Danger” by Plimsoll up to 2 years prior to their demise. Our new, dedicated module will allow you to be sure you are never caught out.

Identify suppliers you have the most purchasing power with

As a supply chain professional your first responsibility is to your company. Secondary to that is to ensure you remain an ethical trading partner with those feed into your supply chain.

The Procurement module allows you to separate highly profitable suppliers that are reliant on your own business for a sizeable slice of their turnover. Negotiating prices and terms is much easier from an informed position.

Conversely, identifying companies and, in some cases whole markets, where suppliers’ margins are tight and there is little room for price movement saves a lot of time and effort negotiating when little saving can be found. It also begs the question of whether sourcing overseas may be more cost-effective?

Would bringing part of the supply chain in-house be beneficial?

While acquisitions are traditionally left to the finance and business development teams, as a procurement professional, there are increasingly strategic questions you need to contribute to. As resources become scarce, should you look at buying a company within your supply chain?

In one stroke, buying a supplier would expand your group portfolio, ensures the continuous provision of mission-critical supplies irrespective of external factors and puts your rivals at an immediate disadvantage.

In addition to the Procurement module, Plimsoll offers a range of complementary services to help you study acquisition attractiveness, value, and ownership structures of the suppliers you rely on, should you wish to buy.

Plimsoll believes in-depth knowledge about all components of your supply chain, the alternative options both at home and overseas, and the vulnerability of your processes should be on-demand, up to date and easy to digest.

For more information about the Plimsoll Analysis and how it can assist you in your own supply chain activities please visit or call our team on 01642 626400 to talk to one of our dedicated team.