The idea of businesses being Brexit-ready is the theme of our White Paper, and understandably so, as many business leaders are asked how they are preparing for the future. With no examples to follow, how does your organisation prepare for the unknown, particularly without any further clarity and direction of government leads, who are still in disarray? How does your business secure its status in the global marketplace when the status of the nation as a whole has been shaky at best? It’s a big ask.

As the Brexit clock ticks, conversations around ‘readiness’ are increasing in the business community. A common misconception is that you can’t prepare for what you don’t know but thinking this way could leave your organisation vulnerable and strained as you try to do an overhaul to meet post-Brexit demands.

It’s time to look at every area of your business operations. Is the current structure set for success or could it be streamlined to strengthen your position in the marketplace both now and after March 2019? Is your global supply chain as efficient as it needs to be or could simple changes in supply stream result in a more ‘well-oiled, supply machine’?

We take a look at some crucial areas where you can review your business and make changes that will benefit you in the future.

Preparing Your Supply Chain for Brexit:

The importance of understanding every element of your supply chain is vital as the landscape of UK trade deals change in the upcoming months, not only between the UK and the EU but also between the UK and non-EU countries.

Future-proofing a global supply chain can seem like a daunting prospect, but it is essential in ensuring your operations don’t unravel completely. It doesn’t stop at knowing who your suppliers are but understanding how they acquire their materials and how they send it to you; the relevance of strong supplier relationship management has never been so paramount.

You will need to understand the processes of buying (and selling) products and services from other countries to comprehend how a new trade model would impact on the service, costs and operational capabilities. You will also need to be aware of how these could change so that you can adapt to new practices when needed.

Reviews of supply chains should encompass the following (at the very least):

  • Customs and tariffs – focusing on the impact of new duties on imports.
  • Legality issues – reviewing contracts that have clauses which highlight that the UK as a part of the EU and assessing renegotiations or exit plans.
  • The changes in VAT- understanding the price increases and the need for more admin work.
  • Supporting data needed for the import and export of products and how this information will be captured and made available for the necessary approvals.
  • Will you require storage hubs in the UK and Europe to service the customer base? If so, it’s best to act sooner rather than later as warehouse demands rise.
  • Realistically, lead times are bound to be impacted by new custom processes, and this should be incorporated into a new planning regime that considers stock holding.
  • Do you utilise EU grants and incentives at the moment, and have you found out if these will be affected post-Brexit? Will processes for applications differ for necessary funding sources?

When you start to take Brexit down piece by piece, you will find that you are well-placed to face a post-Brexit world and even capitalise on the opportunities that spring from this change. Of course, the speed at which alternatives can be arranged and implemented is shocking to business leaders but having an understanding of every scenario – and an action plan for each – will ensure you can act swiftly and move ahead in the marketplace as a leader.

Preparing Your Workforce for Brexit:

Brexit could have a substantial impact on your workforce strategies on how to support and engage their staff through this transitional period. Understandably, for many organisations, Brexit’s influence on their employee strategy is a key concern for 2018 and beyond. Advisors are encouraging businesses to provide as much clarity to affected employees as and when they find out.

Although details have not been finalised regarding EU citizens living and working in the UK (and vice versa), there is a wealth of information regarding what will happen before and after the transition which means that business leaders have what they need to prepare their staff.

EU citizens established in the UK will complete the simple registration process where they will supply documentation that demonstrates their residency. Those over five years will be granted settled status (if confirmed by HMRC), whilst those under the allocated time-frame will be given temporary residence that could possibly turn into settled status.

The immigration system has not been ironed out yet, but an autumn report from the migration advisory committee will provide a little more clarity.

The responsibility of employers is to identify employees that will be impacted and plan together to ensure stability, as well as ensuring they attract UK talent to widen your database.

Why Does Your Business Need to Prepare for Brexit Now?

Even though there is still some time before the UK officially leaves the European Union, planning for every possible scenario operationally could actually lead to great opportunities, and will give some businesses a well-needed push to update and simplify their corporate structures more efficiently.

By gaining a new perspective on your business, procurement specialists offer expert advice on how to best reshape your organisation for the future. Get in touch with our cost reduction analysts today to find out more.