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Still time for UK businesses to ‘shape up’ for Olympic challenge

While some UK businesses have undertaken detailed supply chain planning ahead of the Olympic Games, supply chain consultancy Total Logistics is concerned that many companies could still face disruption to their distribution networks this summer, due to poor preparation.

Total Logistics launched an online self-assessment tool in January 2012 to help businesses pressure-test their supply chains in readiness for the summer. Initial feedback from the survey shows that UK businesses tend to fall into one of two categories where Olympic logistics planning is concerned; ‘early adopters’ (who have already done some form of supply chain assessment) or ‘laggards’ (who have left logistics planning to later). While only 33 per cent of ‘early adopters’ were deemed at medium risk of supply chain disruption over the summer, businesses that had left their planning until later (until March/April) were at a higher risk, at 69 per cent.

Peter Roan, director at Total Logistics, said: "Through our relationships with leading retailers and distributors, and our participation at major industry events, we’ve heard anecdotal evidence that suggests there are still a lot of businesses that have either done very little or no serious logistics planning in preparation for the summer games. Even among those businesses that have made plans, only a small number have undertaken detailed analysis, assessing the robustness of their own, and their suppliers’ supply chains."

According to the survey, businesses that had undertaken supply chain planning before the Olympics were also well aware of the various route restrictions created by the Olympic Route Network (ORN) and Paralympic Route Network (PRN) that will come into force over the period of the games. Issues that were of most concern among respondents to the survey were; the ability to increase inventory at delivery locations; the ability to deliver more goods, less often; sourcing additional resources such as drivers and vehicles; local ‘o’ licence issues and whether to base London staff from home during the games.

Roan concludes: "Our message to companies that have not yet considered the logistical challenges of the games is; it’s not too late. Total Logistics has developed a free to use self-assessment tool for businesses (www.total-logistics.eu.com/summerlogistics).

"There is also plenty of up to date advice and guidance from the likes of the Freight Transport Association (FTA) and Transport for London (TfL) out there. Those that have not yet planned – or tested their supply chain plans – still have time, but they need to act now."

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