Strengthen your supply chain in the countdown to Brexit

Hidden Cost of Invoices (infographic)
December 14, 2018
2019’s top procurement and supply chain trends to watch out for
January 18, 2019
parallax background

Strengthen your supply chain in the countdown to Brexit

On 29th March 2019 the UK is scheduled to leave the EU. With uncertainty over the deal that may be struck, many companies are scrutinising their supply chains, both in the UK and around the world. After all, a no-deal Brexit could see exacerbated tariffs, greater wait-times at the border and increased exchange rates.
But what does this mean for your business and what are some of the things you can do to safeguard your business-crucial products to see the least effect in the wake of Brexit?

This blog will explore; reviewing your supply chain, supply chain storage to protect the movement of business-critical products and digitising your company’s and suppliers’ logistics to increase efficiency and reduce risk.

Is your supply chain still fit for purpose?

Many companies rely on a wide range of suppliers and Brexit brings much uncertainty to the movement of products in and out of the UK. Therefore, it is vital to carry out a full evaluation of your business-crucial suppliers, as relying on a wide range of suppliers, with potentially insecure logistics networks, could cause havoc for the functioning of your company.

Recent research shows that many Supply Chain Managers fear that if their products were stuck at the border, it could lead to their business going bankrupt. The Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply Chain discovered that 15% of Supply Chain Managers worry that a delay of 12-24 hours could cause bankruptcy – meanwhile 10% fear just 10-30 minutes could do the same.

With this in mind, prioritising your suppliers based on existing and secure logistics networks with foreign suppliers is key, helping minimise the risk of delays at the border. Additionally, auditing your suppliers’ network of warehouse space is another important area. The ability to store company-crucial products for rapid, national deliveries will help grant you peace-of-mind that you will see the least amount of delays moving product to your business sites.

Ultimately, prioritising these key supplier functions will help provide your business a smooth transition in the unsure times Brexit brings.

Supply chain logistics

With fear and uncertainty surrounding the impact Brexit will have on the delivery of business supplies, many companies have begun stockpiling materials.

However, it’s not necessarily practical for many businesses to stockpile their products, or for your company to store business supplies. Therefore, ensuring your supply chain is secure, resilient and able to provide those business-critical products is vital to the day-to-day running of your company.

With this is mind, scrutinising your suppliers’ logistics network to provide assurance that resilience, efficiency and a proven track-record of successfully servicing companies similar to yours, is pivotal.

Four key areas to audit your suppliers

There are a number of important areas to audit your suppliers on. However, ensuring the following are met is crucial:

UK Capacity

• Reviewing whether your suppliers’ UK capacity and network of warehouses can meet your needs is key to providing peace-of-mind for your business.

National network of warehouse

• Their national network reach and local warehouses are important areas to audit, as this can drastically affect how rapidly they can get your business-critical products to your sites nationwide – including any remote locations your company may operate from.

Delivery vehicle fleet

• Insecure logistics could cause havoc for your business and working with a supplier who is fully reliant on third party logistics could put your company’s supply chain at risk. If their contracted courier is impacted negatively by Brexit or another unforeseen issue, this could mean the onset of problems for your business. Therefore, ensure your suppliers either have resilient contracts, specifically set-up to provide you a guaranteed level of service, or own an extensive fleet of in-house delivery vehicles. This will give you reassurance they are equipped to maintain the agreed levels of service.

Proven resilience

• Insecure logistics could cause havoc for your business and working with a supplier who is fully reliant on third party logistics could put your company’s supply chain at risk. If their contracted courier is impacted negatively by Brexit or another unforeseen issue, this could mean the onset of problems for your business. Therefore, ensure your suppliers either have resilient contracts, specifically set-up to provide you a guaranteed level of service, or own an extensive fleet of in-house delivery vehicles. This will give you reassurance they are equipped to maintain the agreed levels of service.

Increase efficiency with artificial intelligence

To assist your supply chain and logistics in operating as efficiently as possible, prioritising suppliers who have implemented artificial intelligence (AI) systems within their organisation’s supply chain can provide enhanced value for your business.

With only 3% of retailers undergoing a digital transformation, any organisation’s supply chain that hasn’t adopted these time-efficient systems in the wake of Brexit could see a drastic impact. Inefficiency within the procuring, stock-checking and delivery management systems your business relies upon could see you at risk of bankruptcy.

To counter this, integrating AI throughout your logistics network, to monitor tiresome processes such as stock counts of business-crucial products, will allow your supply chain to maintain maximum efficiency. Streamlining your order and delivery process in this way may reduce potential inefficiency problems which could result from the impact of Brexit.

Three key areas of consideration for your AI audit

Below are a few ways you can increase efficiency and capitalise on value-adds from your suppliers:

Online ordering systems

• Online ordering systems allow you to rapidly place orders, no matter the time or day, straight from your suppliers’ catalogue of products, ensuring time-efficient procurement of important business products.

Intelligent stock check

• Intelligent stock management systems allow both you and your suppliers to monitor stock levels, providing efficient and smart analysis to replenish used stock in a time-efficient manner.

Route planning software

• Finally, ensuring your supplier has intelligent route-planning software guarantees peace-of-mind that your deliveries will reach your business site(s) in a manner which is not only time-efficient, but also environmentally-friendly.

Summary

There is much uncertainty to Brexit and how it will impact the UK economy and businesses’ day-to-day operations. However, what we do know is that the earlier businesses begin to shore-up their supply chain and logistics, the better prepared they will be to minimise the impact Brexit has on their operations throughout the UK.

To find out how consolidating with OfficeTeam could benefit your business, click here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *