Coronavirus: Unavailability of workers, transportation trucks remain challenges to meet demand, say FMCG players
Availability of workers at factories and trucks for transportation remain key challenges to meet the demand for essential items during the coronavirus-led lockdown, FMCG majors ITC and Dabur India said.
The companies, however, said the approvals for plant operations and transportation of goods have eased difficulties in the movement of raw materials and finished products.
Addressing local issues in many states that have hindered the movement of goods would certainly help in kick-starting the functioning of the supply chain, they said.
"But, the key issue that still remains is the availability of manpower and workers to run these operations. With most workers either leaving for their hometowns or staying at home during the lockdown, it would be a challenge to ensure smooth functioning," Dabur India Executive Director (Operations) Shahrukh Khan said.
Sharing similar experience, an ITC spokesperson said, "While we have progressively obtained permissions in some states, availability of trucks continues to be the biggest challenge at the moment. Inter-state and local truck movement have been severely impacted together with the challenge of shortage of manpower in factories."
The spokesperson further said, "We believe it will take a few more days for the entire ecosystem and processes to be streamlined for movement of essential goods."
On movement of goods, Khan said the situation has eased a bit with approvals for plant operations and movement of trucks coming in.
"These have eased some of the big bottlenecks that the industry was facing for movement of raw materials, packing materials, and finished products. It would certainly help in kick-starting the functioning of the supply chain," Khan added.
When specifically asked about the stock situation, the ITC spokesperson said, "In these trying times, it is critical to ensure adequate availability of essential food and hygiene products in the country. We have been working closely with state authorities and local administration to ensure that manufacturing and distribution activities continue uninterrupted with minimum people."
The company's effort is to ensure that consumers during these trying times are not inconvenienced on account of shortages and unavailability of essential products, the spokesperson added.
"We have redoubled our efforts to ensure a heightened level of precaution and have implemented strict protocols for safety, personal hygiene and sanitation in these select factories and for our salesmen and value chain partners," the ITC spokesperson added.
(Edited by Suman Singh)