How our resilient supply chain is helping energy retailers ensure business continuity
The past two years have been fraught with challenges for the energy industry. Covid-19, shipping issues, component capacity, availability limitations, the rising costs of energy and legislative responsibilities, such as renewables obligations and social levies, are just some of the burdens to face the energy sector.
It’s no secret that there have been global shortages of many products, and electronic components form part of that critical shortages list. These materials are key components used in smart meters and in-home displays, both critical products to support the UK’s smart meter roll-out. As one of the UK's leading suppliers of in-home displays, we understand it’s essential for energy retailers to have quick, reliable supplies of smart in-home displays. We have supported our customers by mitigating the risk of these supply chain disruptions through our global partnerships and dedicated teams.
Below we share three key elements of our future-proofed supply chain framework that have combined to protect our energy customers from negative impacts and ensure business continuity.
Building supply chain resilience through partnerships
In-Home Displays is a well-established joint venture between two independently owned companies – Hutchison Technologies and Shore Group. This robust, industry-diverse partnership enables us to react quickly to our customer’s needs. We have been able to help our energy customers to support cash flow and inventory by reducing shipments to minimise stock build-up.
Forward planning and inventory buffering
With the economy recently reopening, more opportunities arose to support our energy customers during component shortages which have caused problems for many organisations. We have worked closely with our supply chain team to invest in buying critical components ahead of time, finding additional sources and presenting multiple build options. This has reduced dependencies and allowed us to negotiate best pricing to keep costs low, ensure adherence to forecast schedules and have the flexibility to offer additional capacity to existing and new energy customers.
Dedicated global supply chain team
Our supply chain team in China and the UK can be drawn upon to support our energy customers. This has placed us at an advantage, especially with the recent disruption to global supply chain logistics. Having access to our own dedicated, global supply chain team has allowed us to easily plan ahead for in-home display shipments and keep lead times to a minimum.
We are doing our bit to minimise environmental impact
In-Home Displays oversees the design and manufacture of market-leading smart in-home display products for smart energy and connected home markets. We work with major players in the energy sector, helping consumers to manage and reduce their energy use in real-time by accessing their energy data from smart meters.
Since our smart in-home displays are a key contributor to the smart energy programme, we think it’s important that our in-home displays are also environmentally friendly. That’s why all our product packaging contains no plastic and is made from 100% biodegradable or recyclable materials. Additionally, by repackaging our shipment units to increase the quantity of displays that can be shipped on a container by 25%, we have reduced our carbon footprint.