The ‘B’ word comprised of 6 letters that have caused grown men to cry. But for a British SME….. is it a good thing, or bad?
It is agreed by mostly all, that we want/need to achieve a unified end to our EU negotiations and that a structured exit will be the most beneficial to the economy and commerce.
Its easy to say that if you do not directly trade with Europe, buying and selling for the main part of your business, that really it should not affect you either way. But that is where you may be slightly mistaken.
As a company we tend to trade with UK suppliers and customers, opting for delivery to UK ports to keep our client’s costs to an absolute minimum. But this does not mean we remain unaffected; we have had to build in certain elements of stockpiling to even out possible supply chain delays and uncertain price increases.
Because we seem to be working on limited knowledge and any real concrete decisions, due to the inability of our government to agree to what is best for our country, we are having to work on worst case scenario, as are most other manufacturing businesses within the UK at the moment.
So, deal or no deal, does it matter, really? Well, yes it does, if your supply chain is dependent on EU trading. When you talk Fenestration, you really are thinking of key components like glass, PVC, aluminium, motors and testing/compliance as key materials. What will the impact be on them? If any of their processes involve importing, EU labour, EU/UK processes or standards, this could really impact significantly on their supply chain. We are talking, supply delays, increased raw material and import/duty costs, reduced or unavailable labour, both skilled and unskilled and standards/meeting legislation. What will the impact of British and EU standards be? Double jeopardy or no compliance?
So, if fenestration means manufacturing, you will know that you are a ‘pawn’ in a sandwich between your customer and supplier. Your costs rise and you have to make the hard decision, can you absorb or will you have to make that hard decision to pass on the increases to your customer. This will purely depend on your individual company and buying/stockpiling power.
The results are not in yet, but we know that as strong UK manufacturers, we will keep plodding on and live to tell the tale, if we plan now.
The government need to stop arguing amongst themselves and start thinking of the companies that they are affecting! A deal may not suit everyone but at least they can start to work around aspects that they are unhappy with.
A no deal really could have catastrophic affects on some UK manufacturers but the real loser will be the UK people. They could end up paying for Brexit in more way than one for years to come.