Countering the Brexit Uncertainty

by | Mar 26, 2019

After the past couple of crucial weeks in Westminster, we are apparently no nearer knowing the country’s fate post Brexit, or what the terms of withdrawal are likely to look like. Despite protests and constant political debate; deal, no deal, further extensions, another referendum or even a new prime minister, are possibilities still sitting on the table. 

For UK business, the delay of Brexit may not be a bad thing as it allows more time to prepare. However, the uncertainty of what companies are actually preparing for means planning and decision making in the supply chain is problematic. Below are areas that some supply chain businesses have been focusing on to counter this.

Safe Supply
Brexit has certainly increased market uncertainty, which perhaps makes the supply chain more vulnerable to counterfeit and fraud. Businesses have tended to buy with caution and stick to who they know, working with an existing and established, quality-driven supplier has often proven to be more valuable in challenging times. 

Buffer Stock
Manufacturers have mitigated against supply chain disruption by ensuring they have landed UK stock held in reserve. Of much concern, in the event of the UK departing the EU without a deal, has been increased costs and extended delivery times, which in the short term have been avoided by ordering forward.

Hedging on Sterling
Since the referendum result, and on a fairly continuous basis, the pound has weakened. Regardless of the outcome of Brexit, sterling is expected to be volatile in the weeks or months that follow. The exchange rate clearly has a direct impact on the cost of products and some businesses have hedged their bets by forward buying overseas currencies.

Investing in Education
While the immediate focus has been on avoiding disruption, in the longer term the UK is about to enter a new era for global trade. Historically, as leaders and global innovators of supply chain practices, UK businesses have been investing in education to be prepared for the change and to retain their position in the months and years ahead.

The Supply Chain Academy, and our sister company CP Training, continue to deliver outstanding supply chain capabilities to business through executive masterclasses, bespoke training, thought leadership events, career pathway and the new degree apprenticeship.

We provide unique insight into supply chain innovation and the necessary skill sets to manage the supply chains of now and the future. 2019 certainly looks like a great time to invest in your supply chain capabilities.

 

Supply Chain News from the Supply Chain Academy. The only learning resource centre focused solely on the subject of supply chain, for more information call 01708 259450 or email info@supplychainacademy.org.uk

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