Inventory test

Coronavirus has loomed large over the world for the past two months. Some may say that there has been some undue panic, but nevertheless there are increasing numbers affected with the impact being felt more widely.

China, aka the ‘factory of the world’ and a key producer in most supply chains, saw production facilities shut for weeks in February. Meanwhile Italy, among the top three suppliers of fasteners to Europe, has had its own lockdown designed to curb the spread of coronavirus.

With further precautionary measures in other countries apparently likely (it seems a fair bet at time of writing), it all adds up to a significantly disrupted supply chain.


Where that shortage will it be felt the most remains to be seen. No doubt there will be opportunities, perhaps with other producing nations ready to make up the shortfall, presuming they too are not disrupted. And in an industry where wholesalers boast of high stocks, other firms may be able to step in to fill any gaps with their inventory.

Like consumers clearing supermarket shelves before a presumed shortage hits, there are reports of fastener customers building their stocks in the event of continued disruption over the coming weeks and months. So, while shortages seem likely, there’s potentially going to be someone willing to step in and assure your supplies.

Aside from stock, the implications of coronavirus for the fastener business could be game changing. Where possible, businesses are experimenting with ‘work from home days’ and may be inclined to continue with those, especially if staff get used to them. Using events to make new contacts and do business has been significantly curtailed in Europe thanks to coronavirus too. Perhaps forcing firms to look at alternative methods to reach out to new customers.

Jonathon Harker