Pingdemic, No Ping-damnit!

Once again we see complete muddle and disorder as the government tries to fix a problem in retail without having any real world experience on how the private sector works.

We have seen in the media pictures of empty shelves as the supermarket supply chains have struggled with availability due to a shortage of qualified drivers to deliver the goods around the country.

This in turn has influenced some people to go out and panic buy when they really do not need to. Right back at the beginning of the pandemic when we saw the same situation arise, we saw retail leaders explaining why there is no need to panic, including Justin King former CEO of Sainsbury's who appeared on the BBC radio four Today programme.

What people need to realise is that retail replenishment software learns and reacts to market trends and will increase supply as demand increases. This does not always happen overnight but can take a few days to filter down the chain.

The spanner that the Government has put in the wheels this time is they have affected the supply of drivers. With the contact and tracing app continually pinging drivers to isolate, even though they have no symptoms the government has caused this problem themselves.

Having worked in the retail industry both in the food and non food sectors for 35 years I know that delivery drivers do not need to come into direct contact with the store colleagues to deliver the goods. There are safe ways to deliver.

I think we would all really like to know the thought process of those who made the decisions around this mess.

Were retail leaders asked for advice and consulted on this plan?

What contingencies if any were put in place to mitigate the risk of hurting the supply chain?

The continuing problems that we are witnessing with decision making are due to those people not having the knowledge to make such decisions. How can the current transport secretary, Grant Shapps make any decisions around supply chain when he has no experience in the supply or retail industry?

His background is in publishing and website publishing. The same must be said about Civil Servants making those decisions also with no prior experience.

There is a saying in retail and that is "having the right people in the right job at the right time."

This government has the wrong people in the wrong job at the wrong time.