BNAE: The industry has survived on the camaraderie, now it needs clarity

James Anderson BNAE supply chain
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It was all going so well until…boom, Covid came to town. BNAE’s James Anderson keeps an optimistic outlook despite a year-long trail of torment for the supply chain. A sector in desperate need of any and every crumb the government can drop, it remains a mystery as to why the supply chain has been starved of support during lockdown. A ‘robust abilty to adapt’ is the best route to survival.

 

JAMES ANDERSON COMMERCIAL & SALES DIRECTOR BANDAI NAMCO AMUSEMENT EUROPE

 

The supply chain has been unable to access many of the government’s support measures. What impact is this having on the sector?

We’ll answer this with a perspective on our 2020 – following a successful EAG we had ordered products from suppliers and prepaid for them with goods still inbound and others travelling to final destinations only to find Covid-19 was an inescapable problem.

We found ourselves amassing great faith in the camaraderie of the industry because despite this debilitating and unusual situation, BNAE worked with operators to offer extra payment terms that were supported by our customers who settled payments promptly.

Looking at the present and near future whilst keeping in close contact with operators, our next hurdle is gaining clarity on when the sites can open so planning and ordering can recommence. Until then, working with suppliers like Raw Thrills, Adrenaline Amusements and Triotech who maintain short lead times, we are here primed and ready for the much anticipated news.

We’ve abruptly landed into a new era in which we absolutely need rapid reactions to change in market demands and a more robust ability to adapt for survival’s sake….

How have businesses in the supply chain managed to function in the absence of these measures?

In these times, we’re truly left with no option but to learn, adapt, change policies, make compromises, and remember to have compassion and understanding as we navigate through the effects of the pandemic together.

In the spirit of the above, we’re offering 2 years interest free credit via a 3rd party (subject to T&C) that should help our customers in funding new purchases in 2021 season.

What measures are required to protect the supply chain over the coming year?

We’ve abruptly landed into a new era in which we absolutely need rapid reactions to change in market demands and a more robust ability to adapt for survival’s sake.

The industry is a strong one, as we all need entertainment, but has admittedly remained quite static in some operations throughout the years. If we were to look hard for a positive outlook in a post-Covid world, it would be the opportunity to engage in a little modern thinking to create longevity of purpose and further strength in the amusement trade.

The supply chain has not been recognised as part of the industry when it comes to support measures. Why is there a blind spot to the supply chain, and how can this be changed?

Just like passing a breadbasket round a dinner table, there’s a point where the bread runs out and the chef has no dough left in the kitchen.

On the plus side, our table has still been partially catered for and this support will help us as the benefits of it continue up the chain, albeit more marginally for each link up.

It’s not overly surprising that blanket procedures were imposed to protect the most front-facing areas of the industry because if that crashes, then we’re all in trouble. Some of these measures have directly supported us too in terms of CJRS to allow flexibility with our workforce. But yes, some breadcrumbs certainly wouldn’t go amiss!

Perhaps there is opportunity for our voices to be heard now that the essential measures have been implemented.


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