Disentanglement from Europe, following on from the June 2016 referendum, will be a long-winded process. It stands to reason; you can’t undo 45 years of single market trading in 5 minutes.
Visualising the Brexit process reminds us of untangling a large plate of spaghetti with a fork; it’s going to be a painstakingly long process that requires patience.
However, timescales to Brexit are getting alarmingly short. Companies will start to find that leaving the EU will have a bearing on the way they operate in more ways than one. Now is not the time for patience, now is the time for action.
Brexit Issue 1: Disruption to your supply chain
Examine your supply chain process
If you haven’t already done so you should urgently take a look at the way your supply chain operates. Ask yourself the following questions:
- Who supplies to you and who do you supply to?
- Where are they shipping goods from?
- Do your goods have to cross boundaries?
- Are they going to be held up by extra checks and paperwork?
- Controls are going to be tighter, and it’s going to take longer to get through borders controls. What affect will this have on your operation?
It’s time to get a documented plan in place.
Brexit Issue 2 – Disruption to your production
Think about your product
If your stock is perishable, then delays might cause defrosting and/or expiry. With that in mind, you might need to think about cold-chain facilities or even transport. Safeguards you previously haven’t considered necessary are now coming in to play.
Do you need to manufacture more product than normal to ensure that you can supply your market? Guaranteeing that essential supplies reach the end user, especially if the product is pharmaceutical based, needs careful planning and execution.
Do you have a just-in-time process? If so, when do your suppliers normally deliver? You might need to consider storing more stock or even overstocking in order to carry out JIT production.
Brexit Issue 3 - Disruption to your storage
Think about your internal processes
Companies that manufacture and ship products may find themselves storing stock despite shipping direct before. It may be that you have to find more space in the warehouse as you’re storing stock for longer. This might prompt you to consider outsourcing stock storage to a 3PL organisation.
Another thing to consider is that at peak times like Christmas and Easter, warehouse operators tend to take on temporary staff in order to cope with increases in demand. With the slowdown of migrating Europeans into the UK, staff may not be so readily available.
Anticipating what changes Brexit will bring, and what life will be like post Brexit is anybody’s guess.
Brexit hasn’t happened yet and it maybe that some of the anticipated issues won’t happen, but it’s always best to err on the side of caution and forward plan. This will focus your company’s transition into and out of Brexit, and make post Brexit operations as smooth and undisruptive as possible. One thing is for certain; there will be changes, and we recommend you prepare for them.
Download our Brexit infographic below!