New supply chain resilience supports for NI SMEs

Invest Northern Ireland has developed a new programme to help NI businesses improve their supply chains following the impact of Covid-19.

The Covid -19 Supply Chain Resilience and Development Framework (SCRDF) will primarily provide specialist advisory support to help businesses identify supply chain risks and appropriate mitigations, identify supply chain opportunities and develop supply chain capability.

SCRDF is open to manufacturers and internationally tradeable services businesses who manage a supply chain as part of their business, or who are involved in the extended supply chain.

“It is vital now, more than ever, that businesses plan, understand and effectively manage their supply chains. With this programme we aim to help them do just that”

The programme will provide specialist advisory and mentoring support and potentially offer financial assistance towards the salary cost of a dedicated supply chain worker.

Eligibility for this element of the programme will depend on individual business circumstances with financial assistance up to a maximum of £25,000 available towards 50pc of the first 12 months’ salary costs.

Importance of a robust, resilient supply chain

“There are many lessons to be taken from the last 12 months,” said Invest NI CEO Kevin Holland.

“For manufacturing and tradeable service businesses, one of these is the importance of a robust and resilient supply chain.

“When Covid-19 first hit, ports and airports around the world ground to a halt. Many businesses found themselves facing challenges of how to get the parts they needed to manufacture their goods.

“Since the end of the EU transition period in January we have also seen how businesses, large and small, have had to adjust to the new requirements on the movements of goods. 

“It is vital now, more than ever, that businesses plan, understand and effectively manage their supply chains. With this programme we aim to help them do just that.”

Full details on the scheme eligibility and how to apply are available on https://www.nibusinessinfo.co.uk/scrdf. Businesses are asked to review the eligibility criteria and complete the eligibility checker before applying.

Projects will be approved on a first-come first-served basis. The programme will close to applications at 5pm on Friday 28 May 2021, or earlier if the available advisory resource, or available budget, is fully allocated.

“The overall aim of SCRDF is to build a robust Northern Ireland supply chain ecosystem, and to help companies become more competitive”, Holland added.

“The programme will provide each eligible business with expert advice to address key supply chain issues, with specific advice available on supply chain improvements, supply chain risk mitigation, supplier management and supply chain repurposing to meet new business opportunities.”

By John Kennedy (john.kennedy3@boi.com)

Published: 10 March 2021