Three ways any organisation can mitigate risk in procurement for any Brexit outcome

We were delighted to catch up again with Richard Hogg, UK Managing Director of leading comprehensive source-to-pay solutions provider, Jaggaer, who we look forward to hearing from a lot more in the coming months, following a period of growth, consolidation and building.

As you would expect the subject of Brexit came up, as it continues to plague procurement functions while they look to manage their supply chains and ensure business continuity in uncertain times. Here’s some of his considered advice:

“I’ve seen the anxiety first-hand in my work with both private and public sector organisations. Many have spent vast resources preparing for the unknown.

And it’s true; no one knows how Brexit will turn out. The silver lining is that there are ways to ensure you are still delivering good value for money, whilst lowering the threat to your supply chain. So there are three things I believe can help to mitigate risk in procurement, no matter how (or when) Brexit happens:

1) Suppliers – Analyse, segment and understand your supplier base. See where your critical suppliers are, and even look at who supplies your suppliers. If there are EU companies in that mix, understand how that could impact the rest of your flow. You may need to assess - or even third-tier impacts. You may even need to find new suppliers, and identifying those potential areas now will save you time down the road.

2) New public sector obligations – If you are in the public sector, along with your suppliers, you should make sure you are comfortable with any new potential obligations or processes. That way, it won’t be a dramatic shift if or when they come into play. A simple example is to ask your procurement software provider if they are compatible and ready to integrate with the UK’s new Find a Tender service. Understand your readiness now so you don’t face supply delays down the line.

3) Data storage – If Brexit happens in any form, there will likely be tighter laws on data storage and exchange between the UK and EU. If your department uses cloud IT services, which includes SaaS providers, you need to ask them how they store data and plan on storing it in the event of Brexit. You may already have provisions in place because of GDPR, but it’s a good reminder to check anyway. You don’t want to be caught out in such an important area.

You can’t prepare for every single Brexit possibility. But if you focus on these three key areas, you can keep the risk of disruption down and take out some of the anxiety.”

Jaggaer will be hosting a Brexit discussion with a panel of experts in a forthcoming webinar. According to a recent CIPS survey:

  • Nearly two-thirds (63%) of EU businesses expect to move their supply chain out of the UK
  • Two-fifths (40%) of UK businesses are looking to replace their EU suppliers
  • One-quarter of large UK businesses have spent over £100,000 preparing their supply chains for Brexit

Yet a year on from Jaggaer’s first Brexit webinar, little has changed. As the nation turns to the government for answers, organisations are turning to procurement to prepare for the - still uncertain - impact that Brexit may have on the business.

So, should you replace your EU suppliers? Yes. Possibly. Maybe. Not Yet. No.

Look out for registration details soon and join the debate.


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