Nisbets writes to suppliers asking them to prioritise supply if shortages arise


Nisbets has written to manufacturers requesting them to prioritise supply if the coronavirus impacts product availability.

The company – Britain’s largest provider of commercial catering equipment – asked suppliers to complete a spreadsheet containing more than 30 questions about the possible impact of COVID-19 on their supply chains and the mitigation plans they have in place.

It appealed for an estimate on the percentage of goods supplied to Nisbets that need to be shipped from China, the volume of stock for Nisbets that they hold in the UK and whether they have the ability to track where goods are located in real time within their supply chain.

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The form asks suppliers to agree to prioritise supply to the Nisbets group of companies in the event of any supply shortages and to continue to adhere to any agreed SLAs, according to those familiar with the situation.

Additionally, it demands that suppliers inform Nisbets immediately if any unforeseen circumstances arise that may disrupt or delay supply.

In the email, Nisbets said it is “concerned at the possible impact on supply of products or services to the Nisbets Group due to the COVID-19 outbreak”, adding that the information was needed urgently due to the “rapidly escalating situation”.

Suppliers were asked to complete the form and return it to an email address set up by its Corona Virus Response Team at the end of last month.

As reported previously by our sister publication FEJ, the cross-functional team was created by Nisbets to examine ways in which it can minimise the effect of coronavirus on its business.

One supplier said it understood Nisbets’ decision for issuing the request for information, but questioned the tone of the email and a lack of empathy towards staff welfare.

Another claimed it had refused to sign the document, insisting it was impossible to make guarantees on supply given the unprecedented nature of the crisis.

Nisbets said it was not in a position to provide further comment.

Tags : coronavirusnisbetssupply
Andrew Seymour

The author Andrew Seymour


  1. Memo to Nesbits – live by the sword, die by the sword my friends!
    Memo to manufacturers – forget Nesbits and their insatiable greed and instead focus on your other more loyal dealers so we both can make decent margin once again with a major plus sign to the end user that goods will be specified, delivered and installed if necessary in an appropriate manner once again and not simply ‘dumped and left’ –
    There is life beyond Nesbits!

  2. I am disgusted to read the contents of the article, but to be honest not that surprised by Nisbets actions and arrogance and delusional self-importance.

    Do they really think they are so respected, important and powerful within the industry that any self-respecting manufacturer or importer would place them above all of the other distributors who actually specify, promote through knowledge and B2B and personal relationships their products rather than just sticking them on a web site and selling at the cheapest price around.

    I sincerely hope not as when this is all over, any that did buckle to the whims of Nisbets, would probably only have Nisbets left as a customer.

    This is a professional industry that involves professional people.

    Get over yourself Nisbets!!!

  3. Good old Nisbets thinking they’re better than the rest of us, hopefully manufacturers will stick with the companies that actually take time to specify products into their schemes rather than just stick them on a website or catalogue.

  4. I am truly surprised by the comments made by people regards Nisbets attempts to protect their supply and sales. Of course they are going to take actions to ensure the effect on their business is reduced and of course Manufacturers are going to support their customers, especially the ones that have the largest spend.

    How about spending a little time worrying about your own business and taking actions to protect you and your customers? Just a thought…

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