Get Brexit Ready
June 27, 2018
The lack of clarity surrounding the implications of Brexit continues to frustrate retailers across the UK. Everything is still very opaque. When uncertainty constraints decision making, the perception that companies have no option but to operate blind for the next year or longer is radically affecting decision making and retailers are stalling until the final deal is set in concrete.
But isn’t this just unnecessary business paralysis?
While the thought of exploring new supply chains across Asia, Africa and the Far East may be daunting to those businesses who have only operated within the ease of UK markets, there are many new opportunities. With full visibility of the supply chain combined with a deep insight into global supply chain operations plus supply chain analytics to enable scenario testing, UK businesses are well placed to explore and exploit new markets, irrespective of political negotiations.
Rather than bemoaning the Brexit induced policy hiatus, organisations should consider this is an opportunity to strengthen supply chain flexibility to take advantage of trading openings inside and outside the EU. The key is for businesses to reconsider potential supply chains with robust scenario planning – that means leveraging in depth insight into global supply chain operations to understand potential new models. By evaluating a new critical path, organisations will encompass not only the new customs demands and freight operating costs but also the safety regulations that will come into force with non-EU suppliers, as well as ethical trading standards.
And with the possibility of free trade agreements with new markets such as Australia, further opportunities will become available, simplifying the trade process. In addition businesses will also be faced with greater possibilities inside the UK, with UK manufacturing on the rise. Offering organisations the ability to take back control of the design process, they will be able to establish a transparent supply chain that not only creates fast and quality fashion, but will also lower carbon emissions.
It’s time to act now
Waiting until the Brexit position has been clarified could mean many of the new global and UK based supply chain opportunities have already been snapped up. It is essential to act now; to ensure the right tools are in place to deliver full visibility of supply chain critical paths and support robust scenario planning. Without this insight, organisations simply will not be able to determine the impacts of new trading laws and tariffs, as well as the potential costs and duration of new supply chain routes.
It those businesses who have a firm handle on their supply chain who will be perfectly placed to respond to change – political, economical or competitive. And with the confidence to swiftly on-board suppliers, cost effectively re-route products and manage new borders and customs demands, organisations can shake off the uncertainty and make the proactive changes required to ensure supply chains remain slick and trading revenues strong.
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Customer Success Stories
We have found them to be an excellent business partner. Through the implementation of both their supply chain and sourcing software they have more than proven themselves in giving us a product that functions the way we need it to. LIMA has been a fantastic supply chain visibility tool, calculating real accurate landed cost position throughout the order lifecycle. The LIBERTY software matches our product sourcing business needs perfectly. PLM systems I’ve previously used, often bring lots of issues through implementation, but these guys managed this and I’ve got highly satisfied users.John Amm - GM Global Sourcing, Myer
The solution has realised more benefits than we initially thought possible. Claims notifications are being handled in a fraction of the time. Suppliers are making fewer calls into the office and quality scores have increased dramatically. All of this can only have had a positive impact on the customer experienceMartin Ashfield, head of commercial property claims, AXA
The system alerts us to exceptions against our plan, allowing us to focus our attentions on solving the real issues in the supply chain. Having a comprehensive audit trail of events for everyone to see has resulted in significantly improved service levels from our suppliers and agents.Darren Walker, head of generics buying and UK trading, Alliance Healthcare
Now our buyers can exchange photographs with suppliers and have a real-time dialogue as they develop styles, while buyers out in the Far East can send detailed and accurate information back to their teams in the UK. It has certainly cut lead times and reduced errors.Maxine Walter, supply chain co-ordination manager, New Look
The time it takes to compile reports has been significantly reduced; a report which used to take five whole days to complete is now accomplished within a single day!Sam Brown, Responsible Sourcing Co-ordinator - John Lewis.