Brexit and top tips for mitigating against supply chain risk


With economic uncertainty upon us as our politicians still negotiate trade conditions for when we leave the EU, the true impact of Brexit on our supply chain remains to be seen.

Whether the impact will be felt immediately or over an extended period, ensuring that your supply chain is Brexit-ready is essential. If you haven’t already asked yourself the following questions, there’s still time to act:

  • Which of your supplies come from the EU?
  • What lead times do you have on supplies?
  • Have your suppliers made plans for trading post Brexit?
  • Is speed of delivery a key part of the service?
  • Can you commit any working capital to stockpiling supplies or have you considered insurance options?
  • Are there any preparations you can make without any capital investment? What you can include in your business as usual spend?

Supply chain preparations

It might feel like there’s complex times ahead for UK businesses and while most businesses are not psychic, it is beneficial to do some future planning. Here are a few tips to help prepare your supply chains for whatever the future might hold:

  1. Take a proactive approach to situations outside of your control

UK businesses have been offered very little guidance from parliament on how to proceed following Britain’s divorce from the EU. There are two options: either wait and see what unfolds – or speak to your suppliers in the EU to understand if they can maintain delivery of goods post Brexit.

Taking a proactive approach to managing your supply chains and communicating directly with suppliers will help to confirm or s any concerns you might have. Whatever the outcomes, you need to know where you stand in order to make alternative arrangements if trading terms are no longer sustainable.

  1. Stockpiling

Many businesses are adopting this strategy, so could it be a viable strategy for your business too? This can help to secure a price you are accustomed to paying or ensure availability of the goods you need as Brexit unfolds.

  1. A supply chain emergency

Good supply chain management involves regular risk assessment, and how you navigate Brexit really should be considered a major risk to the supply chain. If you have a plan prepared to mitigate a supply chain risk; now’s the time to use it.

Threats to the supply chain have been encountered and navigated many times before. Draw upon previous experiences that have resulted in shortages, logistical complications or delays.

Although all businesses are currently still working in the dark as to what the future for Brexit is going to mean, there is nothing new about the fluid nature of business supplies. Taking the initiative and focusing on the factors that can be addressed by your organisation at this time can help prevent any hiccups in April and thereafter. Processes and supply may need to change but the right forward thinking preparations will mean that business can continue as usual for the immediate and foreseeable future.