Supply chains could be affected for Christmas if warehouses aren’t maintained correctly, say experts


Christmas is a key period for retailers, as spending activity increases greatly, thanks to both attractive sales prices and nationwide gifting habits.

According to data from Statista, the UK was predicted to have spent almost £117 million at Christmas in 2020 and this is only expected to rise in 2021 as the economy recovers following the pandemic, increasing pressure on businesses[1] to have secure supply chains.

Warehouses are a crucial aspect to this chain, ensuring brands can meet the demands of Christmas, to not only hit key financial targets, but also maintain brand reputation.

Facility management experts, MSL Property Care Services, stress that business owners need to focus on the maintenance of warehouses to avoid unexpected downtime, alongside the focus they place on marketing, and sales.

‘Many retailers prioritise stock levels during this key sales period, but issues in the supply chain and at warehouse facilities can determine whether it will be a successful Christmas. To limit downtime and avoid disruption, retailers should have planned maintenance plans in place, and ensure their facility is fully inspected prior to the busy period’, says Jeremy Harrison, managing director from MSL.

Warehouses can be subject to a variety of issues which go beyond faulty equipment, such as pests, HVAC issues, noncompliance, structural problems, or security breaches. Each of which can lead to downtime and reduced output from the warehouse.

Whilst some issues may be unavoidable, for which having a reactive maintenance team proves essential, the correct planned maintenance strategy will ensure most problems are mitigated and supply chains can continue to operate efficiently, especially in the lead up to key spending periods.

Harrison adds, ‘Retailers should place emphasis on planned maintenance prior to Christmas, as reactive strategies can be both timely and costly. Bringing in experts to inspect the facility will allow operations to run smoothly.’

As retailers will likely see a surge in customers, the facility management company also highlight the importance of planned maintenance within brick and mortar stores this Christmas, to ensure the safety of both staff and visitors at this busy time.