It’s already a given that, assuming some kind of firm Brexit deal goes through, UK businesses can expect to experience a wide range of disruptions. Changes will potentially take place at every stage of the supply chain, and most businesses are putting contingency plans in place for the most likely outcomes. However, it’s fair to assume that a lot of companies are drawing up plans for Brexit, then calling it a day.
The reality is that, while Brexit may be the most immediate challenge facing supply chains, it’s certainly not the only one. Business for Social Responsibility (BSR) has identified five main challenges to the stability of supply chains by 2025. Ranging from mass migration to increasing automation, it makes for thought-provoking reading. And if even half of their predictions turn out to be correct, it will result in major changes to supply chains for businesses around the world.
Focus on Your Supply Chain, Not on the Next Disruption
The key point is that many businesses, in the face of Brexit, have started analysing their supply chains in detail, often for the first time. They are looking for weak points, but their strategies are focused on a single event (even though the actual details of that event remain, at present, vague at best). What they should be doing is focusing not so much on Brexit, as on the inherent vulnerabilities in their supply chain. Brexit has helped highlight these. But unless businesses take the next step and prepare for any potential disruption, they will only find themselves going through the same motions the next time a crisis looms.
Brexit disruption, potential recessions, US-China trade disputes, and the various potential problems of the future can all affect supply chains negatively. However, these events also offer an opportunity for success, if a business is able to react quickly and adapt to the situation. One obvious benefit to the run-up to Brexit is the fact that businesses are starting to understand the importance of their supply chains. By taking the first steps of Brexit-proofing their chains, they are now realising that, regardless of the future, they can develop reliable systems that can cope with uncertainty.
Effective Planning Benefits Your Businesses, Regardless of the Current Economic Landscape
The benefits of a streamlined supply chain can’t be overstated. As with any complex system, there are plenty of points where efficiency can be improved, even with only a few changes. Poorly planned supply chains result in wasted money and wasted effort. Storage is taken up, at cost, for stocks and materials waiting to be used or purchased. And inefficient logistics can result in increased prices and longer wait times in every step of the chain.
Without a proper analysis, and smart changes, these weak points remain in the supply chain, holding back a business’ potential. Many companies are now searching for these potential vulnerable spots, but only in relation to Brexit. Instead, they should focus on creating a flexible, adaptable supply chain that can change in unforeseen circumstances. That way, they can ensure that the changes they make remain relevant no matter what the future holds. By going one step further with supply chain planning, companies can ensure that they come out on top, while their competition is still adapting to an ever-changing situation.
Supply chain planning solutions can provide companies of any size with everything they need to stay ahead of the curve. By providing reliable, real-time data on every part of the chain, these systems are able to give you everything from the big picture, to the smallest details. And effective supply chain planning solutions aren’t relevant to just one situation. They help businesses respond immediately to everything from Brexit to recessions to basic logistical issues. During difficult times, they can make the difference between staying afloat and sinking. And during the good times, they can give you the extra information you need to keep your business at the top of your industry.