The Impact on Procurement and Supply Chain Following Britain’s Decision to Leave the EU

Written by EO Executives on Aug 19, 2016

At Executives Online we recently surveyed 1,000 industry leaders to gain an insight into how Britain’s decision to leave the EU has impacted businesses across the UK and the rest of Europe.

For most businesses the impact has not been as severe as first thought. However, working with procurement and supply chain professionals on a daily basis I decided to take a closer look at how the two functions took the news.

Following the Brexit result procurement seems to have taken a hard hit and is interestingly one of the most negative across all corporate functions. One of the greatest concerns for procurement is the unlikelihood of receiving new investments throughout the business and as a result will be cutting costs over starting new projects. 

Arguably markets suffered after the result but procurement still missed key opportunities to elevate themselves back into the market. Now the key concerns which still face procurement are:

  • Exchange rate fluctuations and a financial fallout

  • Restrictions on exports

  • Britain’s relevance for EU procurement

  • Inflation 

How has supply chain been impacted?

Supply chain appears to be more positive than procurement as 75% of respondents claim they are still confident about starting new projects and continuing with business initiatives. Interestingly, supply chain are also the most confident across all corporate service functions.

Unlike procurement, supply chain have taken a more positive stance towards the result and have now taken the opportunity to invest in the complexity of targeting overseas markets. 

Further opportunities supply chain have identified are:

  • Tailored free trade agreements

  • Better access to China supply base

  • Supporting growth outside the UK

How has hiring been impacted?

Procurement have been more negative about hiring than supply chain, as 50% of procurement respondents expect interim hiring to decrease within the next 3-6 months. Procurement also appear less optimistic towards permanent hiring as over half of respondents are already anticipating a decrease within their business. It is hard to anticipate what the future looks like for procurement but for now the survey data shows the function has take a hard impact. 

On the other hand, supply chain appear to be more positive towards hiring within only 19% of respondents stating interim hiring is likely to decrease.  Permanent hiring is also unlikely to be impacted as only 18% of respondents anticipate a decrease.  

As functions start to devise new business strategies we could begin to see a more positive progression but in the meantime we would love to hear your thoughts, so please comment below. 

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