Is your food business Brexit-proof? 12 tips on how to prepare your supply chain for change

One of the most important matters when it comes to the separation between UK and Europe is the supply chain. What will happen when todays’ freely moving goods can no longer make their way through the borders? This could be an especially stringy matter for food companies dealing with perishable goods such as fresh produce, fish, meat and dairy. These industries pose serious supply chain challenges that need to be addressed at strategic and contingency planning levels. Time is slowly running out and food and food manufacturing companies are being warned of the possible harsh consequences.  

12 tips on how to prepare your food supply chain for change 

  1. Have a solid contingency plan – Food industries that deal with complex supply chains are the ones that will be hit the most. Identify and assess business risks that can cause disruptions. Think of ensuring that some ingredients that go into the production sources are coming from UK in order to avoid high trade tariffs.
  2. Gain 100% supply chain insight – Make sure you maintain 100% traceability throughout the entire supply chain with the right food traceability functions.
  3. Ensure food quality and safety – Your business needs to validate every single ingredient that goes into the production line. Recalls are inevitable. By capturing data accurately, you ensure a fast informational flow to your customers.
  4. Watch for demand forecasting – Demand patters might not only change but also be subject to delays and limitations. Producers and manufacturers might also be inclined to look elsewhere to alternative options that run far cheaper for products such as cocoa or butter. Can your ERP fully comply with the supply and demand factors, such as the weather?
  5. Impact on tariffs will rise – Import costs will rise as a result of the depreciation of the pound. Exports may become more attractive.  
  6. Consider labelling challenges – Foods of animal origins could be prohibited unless “listed”. Health marks and labels will also become subjects of change and requirement. Establish where along the supply chain you can control these changes.  
  7. Expect bottleneck for perishable goods – With expected supply chain delays, new customs can significantly increase trading time in ports. Define these uncertainties by streamlining your business processes. 
  8. Be compliant with the latest food safety standards – Import of cheaper products could change the food safety standards. Make sure your business is fully compliant with the latest regulations. 
  9. Stay up-to-date with the changing data handling agreements – Your food company needs a right informational management tool in order to stay competitive. Agreements post-Brexit could change the way many companies do business. 
  10. Adapt your international sales process  Make sure your company has the capacity to adapt to the change of the new international sales processes after Brexit.
  11. Invest in technological innovations – Investments in the latest technological developments (AI, cloud-computing, PowerApps) could help your company reach that competitive edge that can make the difference in 10 years from now. Does your current ERP system grant you access to the latest advancements?
  12. Streamline your business processes – Promote efficiency, data flow and collaboration within all matters of your business processes. Build trust and transparency throughout your entire supply chain with an up-to-date ERP platform that can challenge of the disruptions of a post-Brexit world.
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Is your food company Brexit-proof?

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