During 2021, the pandemic continued to pose problems in the supply chain – compounded by issues such as the Suez Canal obstruction – and companies worldwide suffered delays in fulfilling orders. COO Martijn Bonte, Region Commercial Director Reinier Slöetjes and Team Manager Operational Stock UK John Muir explain how increased cross-functional collaboration helped Kramp fare better than many.

Reinier Slöetjes
Martijn Bonte

2021: A year of challenges

John agrees: “Product availability was certainly the biggest challenge from my perspective. You can do all the preparation you like, but if the supplier doesn’t deliver, then it becomes a big issue.”

“It makes it difficult to keep our promise ‘It’s that easy’ for our customers or for our employees,” says Reinier. “It has not been an easy year. We had increasing amounts of customer demand but reduced product availability. We are lucky that farmers kept farming and, when they needed parts, that dealers did their best to keep them farming. Machine manufacturers were faced with increased orders, but their own supply chain had difficulty getting hold of materials. Our distribution partners struggled to keep up their excellent performance, too; shortages of staff, bigger volumes to cope with, and overall COVID-19 restrictions made it harder for our partners and for us internally.”

The impact on customers

“In stock management, we knew that we had items that we couldn’t source,” John adds. “But we didn’t know the root cause of why we couldn’t get them at particular times. Of course, in any year a few suppliers will have problems, but we were not used to seeing hundreds of suppliers with issues. To combat this, we had to step back and look at the data.”

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