As an unashamed Brexit “remainer,” I have looked on with increasing concern as the likelihood of a hard Brexit increases each day.
A raw Brexit deal is scary for a number of reasons. The uncertainty is a very real concern for us, and for our clients. We have received a number of messages from concerned clients who are wanting to know what will happen to their supply, and our relationship, once the Brexit deadline passes.
As a key part of the technology manufacturing industry, Datum Alloys will be in the middle of the storm as everyone tries to figure out how to operate in a post-Brexit world.
First, it will cause short term supply chain problems for all businesses, including Datum, who have built their models on taking advantage of the free movement of goods and services within the EU.
While small hiccups like these should be something individual businesses should be able to handle on their own, the cumulative impact of every company learning to adjust to a nationwide shift might be too much for some industries to survive.
But once we knew that this was a possibility, Datum started preparing before it became urgent. We made wise decisions to establish alternative sites within the EU prior to the Brexit deadline.
We made sacrifices in the short-term to ensure our long-term success. Because of those decisions, we are fortunate today that we are able to overcome the challenges which will be presented to our supply chain, and the industry as a whole, no matter what they are. The lack of tariffs on our products within the region will be a long-term advantage to us over our competitors who are not as well prepared.
We are already light years ahead of our competition because we were able and willing to adapt, change, and prepare, instead of focusing on the here-and-now.
Because of that willingness to adapt we can continue to offer our customers the great service that they are used to. They will not notice any changes, because for us, nothing really will change once Brexit becomes a reality.
What good business leaders, like Datum, need to remember is that during times of upheaval, opportunities will also present themselves.
This reality puts Datum in a great position.
The UK manufacturing industry is not going to disappear overnight (ignore the most dire warnings!). However, the increased friction at the EU border is going to force manufacturers and others to look at their supply chains with the intent to find local, cheaper, and better sources. This will undoubtedly make UK-based suppliers to these businesses look more competitive.
With our recent investments in new production techniques and capacity, Datum is in a great position to exploit this opportunity. It won’t be easy – trade with the EU won’t completely disappear, but Datum will enter this new world with a definite competitive advantage.
And I’m excited for that day.