Supply Chain Management Q&A

Blackwood Engineering ships products to customers across the globe on a daily basis. Supply Chain Manager Lucy Carey talks through the challenges and overcoming post-COVID material and supply issues.

What is your role as Blackwood’s Supply Chain Manager?

I am responsible for the day to day management of the SCM department and Customer Service Department ensuring all customer orders are received, orders placed with relevant foundries worldwide, shipping and logistics managed and parts delivered to the customers on time, and in full.

How long have you worked at Blackwood Engineering?

I have been involved in the business for over 17 years, firstly in a customer service capacity and now managing the SCM and Customer Service team.

Lucy Carey
Supply Chain Manager Lucy Carey

Briefly describe the SCM and Customer Service team

The team are a dedicated and experienced team who manage customer orders, customer correspondence regarding deliveries, stock, updates on orders, storage facilities and managed stock holding, freight solutions and deliveries to customers worldwide.

What are the biggest challenges you have faced in the last 12 months?

The COVID-19 outbreak was a huge challenge from a sourcing, shipping, logistics and stock holding perspective. Most of our customers were closed during the lockdown periods but we still had many containers on the sea so our stock holding for customers increased considerably.

The 2022 CNY also coincided with the Beijing Winter Olympics limiting supply for 2 weeks as we experienced an extended period of no shipments. To get us through this period we planned 6 months prior with suppliers to ensure supply was not affected.

What current challenges are you facing?

COVID-19 is still a major threat in Asia. Shanghai have been on lockdown for nearly 8 weeks (at time of writing)  which is causing some issues with supply to our foundries in the Beijing area. 

We work very closely with the foundries to analyse risk and act accordingly in terms of supply.

How does Blackwood help its customers with their SCM efforts?

Our stock holding policy has given customers the confidence to know that we can continue to supply them the products they need.

In the current climate customers are changing their build plans daily due to component shortages of other products but they recognise we are able to continue supplying due to our stock holding policy.

Our close working relationship with the various customers means we understand their products, build programmes and BOM’s so we can react quickly to any changes.

Any final thoughts?

COVID-19 has changed the future in Supply Chains but Blackwood has adapted to the new way of working which includes extended sea freight times, building strong relationships with freight forwarders to ensure availability and managing stock holding .

We continue to go above and beyond to deliver a high level of service for our customers helping our customers build the machines of tomorrow.

To find out more about the Supply Chain Management services Blackwood Engineering provides click here.

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