The United Kingdom left the European Union on 31 January 2020.
Under the terms of the Withdrawal Agreement the UK is currently in a transitional period, and will remain within the EU Single Market and Customs Union until 31 December 2020. There is obviously a degree of uncertainty as the UK negotiates its future trading relationship with the EU. In order to minimize any potential disruption to all aspects of our business – our customers, suppliers, agents and distributors – we have a number of strategies in place.
Several of these have already been implemented and have required pragmatic decisions to be made in light of the potential outcomes. These include decisions relating to investments in product ranges, stock inventory and longer-term supply contracts. We have considered the impact of potential changes to tariffs and customs borders on our costs, administrative workload and also the effect of increased volatility of exchange rates. These events we can prepare for and to a certain extent, react to quickly.
Rapid has already increased stockholding of fast moving and long lead time stock to ensure supply and keep us competitive through the transition period. The systems we have in place will manage all changes seamlessly so our customers are unaffected. We already plan for future purchases of currencies in anticipation of almost inevitable fluctuation in exchange rates.
Luckily we are an agile, technology-led organisation. A complex and quickly evolving marketplace is a perfect place to perform when it is easy to react quickly through internally developed bespoke systems. Decisions are made quickly and any required deviations can be implemented quickly as the full picture unfolds.
Customer insight is crucial. As part of our Brexit planning we have designed a series of new services, or long term stock agreements, to provide our customers with greater control over their ongoing supply needs. These programmes have been designed to protect important parts of a customer’s supply chain, mitigating against potential price increases and/or delays caused by stock availability. The services provide a mutually beneficial, easy to use, off the shelf solution by highlighting potential risk areas and agreeing on a joint solution to supply.
We are undertaking a review of our agents’ and distributors’ contracts to ensure that they meet the needs of a post-Brexit environment. We wish to reassure all our partners of Rapid’s ongoing commitment to continued trade, both within the EU and with our other export markets.
If you have any queries, concerns, or would just like some advice, please do not hesitate to contact us.