Reflecting on 2021 and welcoming 2022

It is always at this point of the year I like to pause and reflect on the last 12 months, and what a year it has been. Supply chains continue to hit the headlines…

Supply Chain North-East continued to ramp up on activities in 2021, connecting SMEs to some of the biggest Supply Chain opportunities of the day. An introduction to all of these were presented at the successful ‘Showcase North East’ exhibition in July.

The virtual exhibition welcomed over 600 online delegates and received excellent feedback from all who took part.

The showcase had an ambitious agenda and was jam packed with an impressive line-up of partners, including speakers from Atom Bank, Equinor, RWE, HS2, Department for International Trade, Leonardo and Department for Business Energy and Strategy, BP, Energi Coast and Stadler Rail.

There were many workshops delivered to support the local SMEs to come out of Covid restrictions and start building back their business. The programme has delivered around 25 workshops, including smaller networking sessions, larger in depth workshops and bootcamps, partnering with AHSN to deliver a sector specific workshops to support businesses to enter into healthcare, similarly, Innovations in Rail, with Newcastle University and Stadler to support and encourage local businesses to tap into the rail sector, as well as running and launching a Supply Chain North East Village – hosting a number of businesses at physical expo events.

Several beneficiaries from the programme were also offered the opportunity to exhibit and showcase their company at “The Supply Chain Village” at EMCON, NEPIC’s Meet the Members and at Offshore Wind North East 2021.

As we continue to expand our reach, we have recently just welcomed a new programme, Tees Valley Business Challenge at RTC North, that we are delivering on behalf of Tees Valley Combined Authority along with Edge Foundation and Academic Health Science Network. Several companies have already benefited from this support where they joined the Supply Chain Village at Offshore Wind North East and took full advantage of the opportunities to get in front of other companies to make new connections and hear about the new opportunities coming to the North East.

So, what does 2022 look like?

It was recently announced that the state-of-the-art high-speed trains will be built and maintained by Hitachi/Alstom JV at their factories in County Durham, Derby and Crewe. This is not just great news for the UK but importantly the region as this announcement will support 2,500 jobs across the country. This is the perfect opportunity for local companies to get involved in the supply chains and we welcome any business requiring support to reach out to Supply Chain North East.

According to KPMG's global poll of CEOs found supply chain risk was one of the three biggest business challenges, alongside cyber security, and environmental and climate issues.

Supply chain problems were seen as the main threat in sectors including consumer and retail, manufacturing and automotive.

As lockdowns were lifted the demand rocketed. This has led to chaos for the manufacturers and distributors of goods who cannot produce or supply as much as they did pre-pandemic for a variety of reasons, including worker shortages and a lack of key components and raw materials.

Now more than ever businesses need to diversify their offering, expand their customer base, and unlock untapped opportunities into new markets. Supply Chain North East is committed to helping businesses reach new heights so if your business is based in the North East Local Enterprise Partnership area (Northumberland, Tyne and Wear, County Durham) and are in one of the following sectors.

Advanced manufacturing

Subsea, offshore and energy technologies

Automotive and transport

Health and life sciences

Digital, tech and creative

Process, chemical and pharmaceutical

Then please reach out to us in the new year our team of experienced advisors can help you navigate through 2022.

Merry Christmas to all,


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