Customer Demand and Finance are Biggest COVID-19 Issues Facing Bakers: BAKO Survey
14 May 2020
Customer Demand and Finance are the biggest issues facing UK bakers according to a customer survey conducted by national bakery products distributor BAKO North Western Group.
Customer Demand and Finance were cited as key issues by 33% and 31% of survey respondents respectively. Staff Availability and Ingredients Availability were named as key issues by a much lesser portion of respondents at only 5% and 6% respectively. Holding the middle ground, the impact of Contactless Operation and Social Distancing was identified as an issue by 20% of respondents. 5% of respondents reported No Issues as a result of COVID-19.
The number of bakeries still trading compared to those who have closed completely was also surveyed, finding that 17% of those surveyed had closed operations completely at this time.
The survey also asked for general commentary on what would help bakeries, in the current situation, to serve customers and grow business.
BAKO North Western Group CEO Mike Tully said: “The surveys were conducted with a cross section of our customers in order to analyse and gauge the impact that Coronavirus (COVID-19) was having on their businesses. The purpose of this was to use the information and intelligence that was gathered so that we, as a supplier to these businesses, could assess what actions we could undertake to help them through these difficult times.
“The main findings from the surveys unsurprisingly were that many of our customers are finding it a real struggle to maintain their business operations at this time. They are facing many different challenges from staff availability to sourcing ingredients, but the overwhelming biggest issues businesses are having are around finance and simple lack of customers to service.
“Further commentary as part of the survey shows that our customers of all sizes, where possible, have adapted their operations in an effort to minimise the negative impact on their sales and profits.
“The statistical and commentary results of the survey show that the most practical steps suppliers can take, that would have the most value to bakeries at this time, fall into three categories.
“Finance: the ability to be understanding and demonstrate flexibility around credit and payment terms. Product Availability: the need to ensure plentiful stock of key lines to enable fulfilment.
Communication: the need to maintain an ongoing dialogue with customers to provide mutual understanding and cooperation.
“Basically, the consensus seems to be, these are tough times. But if we work together, we can get through this together.”