Brexit’s benefits: a catalyst to change?
With the UK having officially left the European Union on the 31st of January 2020, many businesses headquartered in the UK (like Anders) have had to take proactive steps to protect their business interests. It’s not been a time for procrastinating or for the faint of heart. Instead, it’s been a time to step up, be practical, and build contingency steps regardless of the outcome.
Many UK electronic manufacturing companies have reported on the common Brexit challenges, for example; non-movement in trade, or stockpiling as a security net until whatever solid-state post Brexit is in place. The impact of these actions on many has been detrimental to procurement of parts, forecast planning, and production. However, within this cloud of uncertainty, Anders actually identified a business opportunity to improve their operational performance.
In a bid to control their own destiny, Anders have put in place several changes to strategically manoeuvre their way through the Brexit chaos, with these learnings resulting in several benefits to Anders, their supply chain, and customers.
Adapt or face the pain
Brexit compelled Anders management to take a long hard look at their business, to assess where their supply chain could be fragile, at risk, or weakened. “When nearly 50% of your business originates from Europe, you need to do what you can to protect current customers, whilst growing future opportunities”, Margaret Kato, Head of Operations at Anders, comments.
For today’s business, the European market accounts for over 50% of Anders business and is growing year-on-year. This isn’t to say that they don’t still have the dominant foothold in the UK for display and embedded solutions, but their UK market can be distinct from the rest of Europe and can be nurtured, developed and grown via Anders headquarters in London, UK.
Brexit can’t become the elephant in the room
“You can’t just bury your head in the sand”, Margaret continues. To cater to Anders’ growing European market, the company has established Anders Electronics BV. This entity is strategically located in the Netherlands, well-known globally for its logistical excellence and utilised by many of the world leading electronic manufacturing brand names like Anders.
By expanding and developing into new geographies, Anders can now offer their customers choices;
London, UK – home of product innovation, prototyping and development, with production in various locations in the Far East
The Netherlands – home of European logistic hub excellence and robust connected supply chain solutions
Hong Kong – home of Asian logistic hub and world-class supply chain network
Failing to plan is planning to fail
Feedback from Anders customers has been incredibly positive, with shipment times across Europe being reduced. In an industry where speed-to-market and time-in-profit matters, this is a major benefit. Margaret concluded, “In setting up these operations, our own efficiency has improved. We have new processes in place which have streamlined our productivity and future-proofed our ability to scale our business in the next few years. We were not prepared to sit and wait with the potential to lose business, so we prepared ourselves, and if nothing changes in the market dynamics, then that is fine too, we’ve not lost anything. We’ve simply built a contingency plan, which will set us on a winning course from now until the next decade, when Brexit becomes a thing of the past.”
About the author:
Lee O’Toole is Marketing & Communications manager at Anders Electronics – www.andersdx.com