Brexit and procurement: what procurement professionals should be doing

Brexit is causing a paradigm shift in procurement chains in the UK, and this disruption…...

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Brexit is causing a paradigm shift in procurement chains in the UK, and this disruption is likely to continue for the next ten years, if not longer. However, change is not inherently bad, and your organisation doesn’t have to suffer as Brexit gets underway. As long as you have a proper strategy in place, you can make a success out of this profound political shift.

The first steps

As a procurement professional, you need to understand the positive and negative effects of Brexit on your organisation, and your industry as a whole. This means that you will be able to identify possible opportunities and come up with strategies to avert potential risks.

Identify risks and opportunities

The best way to navigate the difficulties of Brexit is to plan and forecast what might lie ahead. It’s useful to perform risk assessments to understand where you are standing and where you have to go. Think about every aspect of your business that might be most affected by Brexit. In addition to all the potential challenges, also be sure to consider the opportunities that you can take advantage of while the shape of supply chains between the UK and the rest of the world begin to change.

Managing suppliers

Make sure you adopt strong supplier relationship practices to reduce and mitigate any issues with your key suppliers. While Brexit has created uncertainties, you need to drive home the fact that you intend to maintain a strong relationship with your suppliers. In addition to this, you also need to make suppliers aware that it is in their own interests to keep an efficient supply of goods and services so that you enjoy a mutually beneficial relationship.

Involve all stakeholders, including suppliers, to develop a roadmap for collaboration so that there is no interruption in supplier services.

Be agile and flexible in your procurement

Brexit has and will impact supply and value chains. However, the way that you adapt to these changes will determine the success of your organisation. It is important you also add non-EU suppliers to your portfolio for key products and services, and also come up with a list of possible substitute suppliers, especially in case of a ‘no-deal’ scenario.

Keep your team intact

The last thing you need is a valuable team member leaving. Therefore, you need to start working now to develop and retain talent by empowering them and keeping them committed and engaged. Opt for training to help them to cope with the changes and challenges that they may face over the next few years. Without a doubt, there will be difficult and stressful times ahead, but there are also exciting opportunities for growth and development. By reminding your employees what there is to gain from Brexit, you can help to keep them on-board, working diligently and enthusiastically about the oncoming change.

Remember, Brexit and procurement don’t have to be diametrically opposed. They can be mutually beneficial if you are forward thinking and suitably prepared. To make the most of this moment, be sure to follow these tips and think creatively to ensure that the supply of goods and services, and the growth of your organisation is not disrupted in any way.

Ed Cross

Ed founded Odesma in 2014 with the explicit intent of creating a new kind of procurement consultancy founded entirely on cloud principles. Deploying best-of-breed subject matter experts alongside the best on demand technology to deliver rapid and effective change for customers.

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