The pandemic that raged across the past year has shone a light on global supply chains – their strengths and weaknesses – as never before. Rising costs, logjams, capacity and over-reliance on too few supply sources are just some of the key issues besetting global movements of goods and components.
The virtual Santander Manufacturing Industry Week event on 20-22 April, in front of an audience of manufacturers and their suppliers, will debate the key issues in manufacturing from a UK and global perspective.
Free to attend for manufacturers
The event, which is free to manufacturers and their suppliers on completion of registration here, has debates and keynotes focusing on such core verticals as automotive, aerospace, chemicals as well as food and drink.
In the light of global trade challenges, the conference aims to encourage “manufacturers and their suppliers to look at how they might do things differently,” said Paul Brooks, head of manufacturing at Santander UK and the event’s overall chairperson.
Trading overseas is a theme running throughout the conference which features presenters from the Institute of Export & International Trade.
On Wednesday 21 April at 1pm, IOE&IT Academy’s trade and customs specialist Vicky Payne will present on the subject of ‘Trade compliance and risk mitigations in international trade’.
Supply chain session
Kicking off day three of the conference on Thursday 22 April at 9.20am is a panel discussion hosted by IOE&IT chairman Terry Scuoler and featuring supply chain experts from China and India.
Entitled ‘Futureproofing and building a more resilient supply chain in Asia’, the panellists are Neeraj Bansal, chief operating officer, India Global at KPMG India and Zvi Shalgo, chief executive of transport logistics firm PTL Group.
Terry Scuoler said: “The panel, featuring leading experts from two of the world’s greatest trading nations, will together bring a wealth of insights on the changing post-Covid international trading landscape and resultant potential impacts.”
Topics include how companies can diversify their sourcing to strengthen their Chinese supplier chain or to switch to other markets such as India and ASEAN.
Brooks commented: “The pandemic has shown the risks involved in having all your eggs in one basket when it comes to supply chains. This discussion will encourage delegates to think of wider geographical options, particularly in Asia, to better enable businesses to weather any future storms.”
UK economic recovery
Scuoler added that the UK’s economic recovery is dependent on “smooth trading links with the rest of the world. Those trading links, and associated supply chains, have been severely impacted by the Covid pandemic and the increase of protectionism by some of our key trading partners.
“Ongoing geopolitical tensions across the world and even the recent costly blockage of the Suez Canal highlight the need for international consensus at all levels to ensure the continuing wealth-creating flow of goods and services.”