Why the Trump Victory Should Change the Way You Think About Your Supply Chain  

Supply risk management Pavle/Adobe Stock

As part of our 'Trump Day' analysis, we are delighted to feature this thought from Toby Munyard, Vice President of Efficio, Business Management Consultants.

We all know what did happen, but let’s start by looking at what didn’t. There was no market meltdown; the dollar didn’t collapse; the sun came up.

Life is neither “business as usual” nor “catastrophe.” In a word, the next few pages of the history books will feature “uncertainty” written large.

First Brexit and now Trump reinforce the popular and absolute rejection of the status quo. Anti-establishmentarianism is now a trend, so we had better get used to coping with it (and spelling it).  Out with the old, complacent conventions about “just how things are” and in with the new - but how do we adapt quickly in this environment?

If you run an enterprise, what is important is the effect of world events on business through trade deals, raw materials, cross-border trade, currency and regulation changes. You can’t develop a strategy for all possible futures unless, and until, you’ve built up a thorough understanding of your existing supply chain. Staying in control, while others are losing it, means mapping your supply chain down through the tiers of supply -- ranking them, understanding the risks and developing a plan B for every stage.

After headcount, third-party suppliers are the biggest cost to business. If your suppliers (or key staff for that matter) are based in a different country, things are going to get much more complicated. But forewarned is forearmed, be it leaving the EU or building walls, the reality around movement of labour is going to change. Preparation is everything.

Geography teaches us that aftershocks follow earthquakes. The story of the next couple of years will be the unforeseen consequences of Brexit and the US election playing out in practice, in ways we could never expect. This level of uncertainty should make you worry, because a rigid supply chain is like a railway track - neither look pretty or work well after a seismic event -- and there is more to come!

Our experience tells us that businesses that have mapped and forecast their supply chain and procurement plans, are better prepared to cope with the continued ripples and aftershocks that will continue post 2016. Now is the time for business leaders to lead, there is no point waiting for things to quiet before undertaking a root-and-branch analysis of your business, because there will just not be a quiet six months in which to do it.

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