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COVID


Despite the imposition of a further national lock down in the UK, the crucial thing is to look past the current crisis to the future. Anglia has continued to invest in the future of its business since the start of the first lockdown in March. Our software team has continued to develop new services for Anglia Live. We’ll be announcing the fruits of these efforts soon – and some of these new enhancements will be industry firsts. We have also continued to develop new lines to ensure that we offer customers a truly comprehensive solution, and to stay abreast of new technologies and markets as they become mainstream. There are several new lines where we are currently building a stock profile ready for launch – look out for some exciting announcements in the coming weeks.


The value of relationship Anglia has always been a relationship business, and the lockdown has opened up new ways of maintaining those relationships with respect for the safety of our staff, suppliers and our customers. We are rarely visiting customers at the moment – meetings are via Teams or other platforms. We will go back to face-face meetings in time, of course, but I expect that we will continue to use online platforms in parallel. Using these tools, our technical support and customer relationship development has continued strongly during the lockdown. These relationships are central to working together in a market like the one that is


emerging at the moment. Whilst holding high levels of inventory helps us support our customers as lead-times lengthen, we are only as good as the information we’re given. It is well worth creating a well- balanced forecast of your likely demand in 2021 and placing orders against it certainly for Q1 to ensure that supply meets anticipated demand. As always, the way to avoid being caught out is to share information down the supply chain so that you always have the supplies you need to sustain your production. Equipped with that, we can set up a sustainable, balanced level of inventory, and hold it at a short, overland journey from you, eliminating the inherently higher risks and costs of airfreight.


A good start to 2021? At the moment in fact, lead times are lengthening, and the market is firming up. Semiconductor Fabs are filling up rapidly and forecasters are predicting 11% growth or more in 2021 – admittedly from a very low base in 2020. Although this may sound surprising, in fact the reasons aren’t hard to see. Customers who have taken the cautious view and used up their inventory over the year are now focusing on replenishing depleted stocks. At the same time, automotive electronics is now at about 90% of pre-lockdown levels, 5G is ramping up and medical / healthcare related markets, as you would expect, are still growing strongly. Added to this the new X-Box (Series X/S) and the PlayStation


v


5 are also soaking up manufacturing capacity and inventory now.


In the UK distribution market, we can point to a number of specific sectors where we’re seeing increased demand. In addition to medical and healthcare, access controls, smart buildings, social infrastructure, and other areas which contribute to public safety and well-being are growing strongly. COVID has accelerated acceptance of new technologies and concepts by as much as ten years. Customers are shifting rapidly from a mind-set of ‘we could add this functionality to our product’ to ‘we must add it.’ Projects that have been sitting on the shelf awaiting funding or resource have been finally dusted down and implemented. Taking all this together, the coming year could in fact end up being an extremely good year. Strong relationships, transparency and continuing to think beyond the crisis to the future are key to our mutual success in 2021. Those who maintain their investment (and keep their nerve) will bounce back quickly when the market recovers.


Visit www.anglia-live.com to see the full range of products available from Anglia


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