Sam Scriven, our Senior Technical Consultant, has Brexit on the Brain: he’s highlighted 3 key areas for the Tech industry to keep and eye on post-March 29th leave date.

Brexit has been the Technical Industries’ rock and hard place over the last two years. No matter the product, commodity or service, Brexit will affect us all, at every level. In my opinion, there are three key areas that manufacturers need to consider with Brexit on the horizon – Goods Movement, People, and Innovation”.

  1. Keep Goods Coming and Going

“One of the most immediate priorities for British manufacturers and distributors is how various Brexit scenarios could affect their supply chain and movement of goods.

UK manufacturers should look at their supply chains closely, ensuing they understand where delays may potentially affect the business. If tariffs do remain at 0%, all the better for short term EU trading – but delays are more than likely, and with delays comes impacts on confidence in supply chain efficiency. “Just in Time” trading may completely cease for a time. And if so, companies must adapt and be seen to adapt.

Manufacturers should be asking their suppliers about their own plans for Brexit – be communicative and prepare for all outcomes.

Forward-thinking manufacturers should be looking at what is challenging, and what’s happening in their supply chains, and preparing to do things differently – attempt to mitigate loss and prepare your customer base: your customers or business will only appreciate your forward thought and awareness of any pitfalls.

British manufacturers may benefit from trade opportunities with countries outside of the EU. However, one of the “soft-risks” manufacturers may have is cultural, language and behavioural challenges and limitations. Expect it and prepare for it!”.

  1. Invest in People

“Managing Brexit is also about recruiting and retaining the right staff to drive success. To fully implement, and see the benefits of, Industry 4.0, manufacturers must have a strategy of upskilling existing employees to deliver digital transformation.

The possible restriction of free movement across the EU may cause businesses to face imminent recruitment problems and issues with sourcing enough people to run traditional factory and supply chain processes.

Once plans for Brexit are clearer, and we are at the 11th hour now, businesses should review and evaluate immediately what their long-term strategy means for recruitment and retention policies.

Employers need to approach recruitment honestly and with a truly collaborative approach with existing staff, and they must support employees to work through their concerns, giving them the space to engage and remain productive.

Of course, with the growth of apprenticeships over the last decade, and the potential for T level introduction, I can see this trend in people and long term employment investment increasing”.

  1. New Technology and Innovation

“The fourth industrial revolution is already making an impact on British manufacturing. Manufacturers should be embracing new technology in a post-Brexit world. It offers opportunities and benefits in productivity, speed of service, efficiency, innovation and skills growth. It should not be overlooked.

Preparing for Brexit through technology investment is very similar to preparing for other types of business challenge, such as recruitment – Customer satisfaction is the end game, and one you can achieve through creating better quality products, at lower costs, with the help of New Tech.

To summarise, I believe that Brexit will damage British manufacturing, however it will also open doors for new exciting companies in regards to in-house upskilling, opening new supply lines and tech innovation. With businesses pivoting towards, and some relocating to, Europe it will leave behind vast amounts of skilled staff for existing and new businesses. Strike while the irons hot, and use this unprecedented shift away from the continent to better locate and draw in the best talent.

With plans for numerous exciting new manufacturers opening new plants in the UK, it is a great time in UK manufacturing and we will remain as a world leader in STEM sectors”.