Balclutha businesses are putting on a brave face as they face a year of possible stock shortages, incoming delivery delays and supply chain uncertainty.
Powerzone Motorcycles co-owner Jo Bond said despite the availability of new stock being limited at the cycling and motorcycling business in Balclutha, things were ‘‘OK’’ and the workshop was still in strong demand for repair and servicing of customers’ machines.
‘‘The shortages people are reading about are not all doom and gloom, as we, like many other retail businesses here in Balclutha, are still able to provide our customers with the best range of products we can,’’ Mrs Bond said.
‘‘People are buying motorcycles, cycles and outdoor equipment because they’re aware of the nationwide shortages, so the stock we are getting in is moving on very quickly.
‘‘Our workshop team, however, is very busy with repairs and maintenance due to that same shortage — so we’re keeping a good supply of parts on hand to help keep customers going for the busy farm season ahead,’’ she said.
Johnstone Electrical co-owner Mary Johnstone said workshop activity was a big plus for her business, too.
‘‘We’ve been getting some big servicing contracts recently and while much of our shop’s stock range is generally available, there are just a couple of the brands and product lines which are a little bit more difficult to source or are experiencing longer delays in shipping,’’ she said. ‘‘Our loyal customer base understands this and, whenever we get their products in, they’re quickly dispatched to those waiting,’’ Mrs Johnstone said.
‘‘People did spend up a lot from September to December last year but now they have returned to the normal levels of spending and, I think, appreciate the conditions caused by Covid on shipping and freight,’’ she said.
Generally, her team had been able to keep stock levels ‘‘pretty good’’.
‘‘However, we don’t want to see another lock-down.’’
Balclutha Motors managing director Jared McPhee said the automotive business was going fine.
‘‘The recent launch of the new Nissan Navara meant the manufacturer was able to provide us with more new stock, but we’re starting to see implications around the supply of accessories and parts, while still doing the best we can for our customers.
‘‘People who support local businesses are aware of this and accept there could be a small delay, but I suppose this is down to the rural area we live in,’’ Mr McPhee said.
Representing the biggest employer in town, Silver Fern Farms media spokesman Ben Thomas said things were looking positive, despite occasional ‘‘headaches’’.
‘‘With approximately 1200 employees at Finegand in the peak of the season, processing livestock for 1900 farmer partners, Silver Fern Farms is pleased to have continued operations at Finegand without interruption this season, despite disruption in the global supply chain causing headaches,’’ Mr Thomas said.
‘‘Little has changed in the logistics space, and this area remains a major challenge requiring plenty of micromanagement in order to meet our customer requirements.’’
Some issues remained as a result of the recent Suez Canal blockage, he said.
‘‘Ports on the West Coast of North America are congested and shipping to North America in general is challenging.’’
The business remained confident, and was investing in the future, he said.
It had recently announced a $6 million project to install high temperature heat pumps, which Mr Thomas said was an ‘‘acknowledgement of out long-term commitment to Finegand’’.