These very unusual times
are redefining how we carry out our daily lives. Our shopping habits are an
area that has seen some of the greatest impact, with many shoppers moving
online with their ordering for home delivery. In the same breath, it has been
noted that many consumers have returned to one big weekly shop, rather than
multiple smaller ones.
For some shoppers, this ritual has never gone away, with a large weekly supermarket shop part of their routine. But many more consumers must visit superstores more than once a week, to stock up in small doses. Perhaps they do not have a car and use public transport to convey their purchases, or they prefer to shop day-to-day – either for reasons of taste or finance. Managing the demand and logistics of such changes in shopping habits, and in such a short period of time, has been a challenge for both the supermarkets themselves and the wider supply chain network.
When looking at the need
for stock to be available on the shelves when it is required, there has been a
redefinition of who are keyworkers and their necessity for the continuation of ‘normal’
daily life. We are all coping with a normal that initially felt very alien, but
is now beginning to feel more like a routine. Keyworkers were identified as
being the ones that would have to keep carrying out their roles, in spite of
the presence of the Covid-19 virus. We tend to think of essential workers as
members of the NHS, or the emergency services and the police, but a whole array
of professions, from care workers to supermarket staff, have been included in
Supplying unprecedented demand
Not least among these is the role logistics firms play in this time of national emergency. At a warehousing and distribution company such as ours, every echelon of the business structure is a vital part of the supply process. At our two Boughey sites in the North West, everyone from our pickers, fork-lift drivers and warehouse operatives – who are preparing our orders for supermarkets and shops – to the senior staff, are making sure the wheels keep turning.
Just as vital are our
drivers, who are delivering goods around the clock, often in strenuous,
stressful circumstances. As has been reported in the media, demand for many
items has far outstripped supply, so it is commendable that we have weathered
the storm and things seems to be stabilizing in terms of peoples’ buying
habits. The CEO of Sainsbury’s noted recently that their busiest time at the
beginning of the lockdown was the equivalent of having peak Christmas shopping
periods day after day, for five days straight. Fortunately, this level of
intensity has abated now.
Our admirable efficiency in this exceptional time is partly due to already having the best available technology in place, like our BougheyNET portal, which is ensuring we are keeping the nation’s shelves stocked with the produce the public needs. All our staff are adapting to using additional equipment such as Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), which has been deployed to safeguard our workers and ensure the health and safety of their colleagues or anyone else they come into contact with.
Boughey is pleased with
the ease with which it has been able to adapt to these new working methods,
such as social distancing, and recognises the importance of keeping its
keyworkers safe. As we work through this crisis together, you can rest assured
that Boughey is doing everything it can to keep the country in motion, as
normally and efficiently as possible.