Brexit – Opportunity or Challenge?

Trade conflicts like Brexit accelerate digital transformation

Uncertainty about the solution to the UK’s trade agreement with the EU continues. With the recent resignation of British Prime Minister Theresa May, the government is currently more concerned with finding a successor than with finding a good solution for the still open resignation agreement, which is due on 31 October. But the fact that the withdrawal will affect the supply chains of many companies is entirely independent of the final agreement and conditions. In a negative sense, this will undoubtedly include interruptions within the supply chain – whether through more extensive customs checks or disputes over product approvals.

Trade conflicts as a development opportunity for companies

Apart from that, trade conflicts such as Brexit bring added value for many companies even if that is not immediately apparent: the risks in global markets and supplier networks are increasing. But few companies have systematic action plans in place to deal with unexpected disruptions within their supply chain. Conflicts such as Brexit or the diesel crisis proactively make companies aware of these deficits and increase their commitment to safeguarding their own company in such cases. This is an important further development of the corporate strategy because in the future agility will increasingly become a decisive competitive factor for exporting companies. Regardless of Brexit discussions, companies should consider digitizing their supply chain as a strategic competitive advantage.

Transparent supply chains bundle information

Well-founded decisions can only be made if all processes and risks are transparent for managers. A crucial prerequisite is, therefore, an overview of all processes along the supply chain. Much of the relevant information, such as delivery delays for a particular component, lies outside the company. The information and data are stored in the systems of suppliers, logistics service providers, and customers across different time zones. To minimize risks, the goal should, therefore, be to make all this information available in a bundled form. Transparent supply chains preserve companies’ ability to act. Network offerings such as Elemica SEE can help to create the necessary transparency. The data collected throughout the network is visualized, and predictive analyses are applied to predicted incidents. The system then alerts the relevant persons and allows them to act. This real-time monitoring can access world events and apply them to supply chains, allowing managers to see affected orders or locations in real time.

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