We’ve written plenty on Public Spend Forum and Spend Matters UK about the impact of Brexit on public procurement (or procurement generally) but here is another, more general, view from Raconteur, published recently. Worth a read for a general overview regardless of the sector you operate in.

On the first day of negotiations by David Davis, the report leads with the very apt acknowledgement: “If the paucity of detail on Brexit is concerning for some bosses, spare a thought for their procurement departments, which are being asked to come up with plans and remedies despite having precious little to go on.” It goes on to highlight the supply chain disruptions already felt by a staggering number of UK businesses – already seeking replacement suppliers from other than the EU  – and EU companies starting to do the same with UK suppliers.

What’s important to remember now, whether in the public or private sector: “With potential changes in contract terms, the identity of suppliers and the prospect of possible trade tariffs all looming as a result of Brexit, procurement’s role has rarely been so vital or under the spotlight.” A sobering thought.

Also important to remember, says a guest contributor from Gowling WLG law firm: “Every supply chain is international.  Even if the supplier is local, the components and raw materials will almost certainly come from somewhere else. And Brexit will impact international trade – the impact of tariffs, the impact of cross-border hassle and delays, and also the non-tariff barriers, for instance the local regulations that impact products,” – another sensible noting.

Forward planning is key, the article presses, and things like supplier risk assessments may switch from bi-annual reviews to as often as weekly for first and certain key second-tier suppliers, says a contributor from financial technology company C2FO. This kind of risk assessment can be helped by companies that specialise in the field, like riskmethods and others, who can help mitigate potential disruptions.

The law firm reminds us of the different consequences for procurement depending on whether the UK stays in the single market. One certainty for procurement recruiters though, is the boon in the market as companies beef up procurement teams to manage their supply chains. So the search is on for good procurement talent!

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