06 November 2020
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EMKA address planning of hardware component supply for post Brexit

As enclosure hardware market leaders, EMKA are looking forward to the new year and have concluded that the worst-case final outcome of Brexit is well known so it is possible to minimise problems by organising for WTO terms in the same way we already do for the rest of the world. This is not new, but it is a change when dealing with continental suppliers. The best case of course will be that if a deal is done with the EU then there will be only minor changes.

Interestingly, every change presents opportunities, so by looking ahead we can also maximise benefits – for example by “doing deals” we can increase stockholding and stabilise prices.

The present situation encourages us all to a co-operative “win-win” approach as suppliers and customers at all levels in the chain organise around the issues.

We should never forget that each company faces both ways as both customer and supplier – there needs to be a common understanding of what it takes to deal with Brexit. Now as we draw near to the final, final, deadline it is interesting to review the response of EMKA to the forthcoming situation. Key to this response is good communication and sharing of goodwill based on historical inter-company and individual relationships.

For EMKA such communication is based on the following steps:

• To identify key fast-moving product lines across the business and adjust stock schedules accordingly to maximise availability.

• Optimise the movement of already held buffer stocks between UK and EU facilities.

• Recognise that those materials imported from mainland Europe and non-EU countries come via a well-established process with robust supply chains and work closely with key suppliers to safeguard supply chains and ensure continuous availability.

• Encourage customers to review their stock levels and ensure orders are placed ahead of normal timing to protect against delays.

• Establish a conversation with customers establishing a strategic approach to Brexit and detailing current lead times, estimated customs delays. Subsequently to ask for specific forecasted needs so as to develop stocking of any key items.

• Ramp up discussions with key Freight Forwarders to mitigate the risk of customs delays into the UK and make preparations for increased customs administration.

• Continue to review the political landscape on a daily basis, consult with customers and suppliers as well as industry peers as to the best way to mitigate the negative effects of Brexit.

• Constantly update an analysis of the financial impact of a no deal Brexit, including increased duty and tariffs, increased cost of freight and customs administration, foreign exchange fluctuations and to look at ways to mitigate these factors to ensure minimal impact on customers.

Paul Fanning

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