News - 06.18.2019

How Much Will a New Prime Minister Affect Business?

Don’t let politics hijack your business. Take charge of your own success.

Pete Anniss

Regardless of your opinion of Brexit, I don’t believe anyone can say that UK and EU politics has been boring over the past couple of years. During this time of unprecedented uncertainty and disruption, as a UK based company, it forces us to take a step back and take a hard look at what we do when the sands under our feet are shifting day to day.

Datum has manufacturing sites in the UK and US, a new location in Poland, as well as an office in Singapore. Within our UK-based business, our exports to the EU are a large part of our operations. Naturally, like any good business, we have contingency plans to mitigate the complications of any border disruption caused by Brexit with our facility in Poland. But the larger question is the future lifetime of ongoing business and manufacturing within the UK.

There are many different viewpoints espoused by the new candidates for prime minister that will have varying long-term effects for the UK’s position and ongoing trade relationships around the world. If we look at actions that the large manufacturers have taken, we see firms such as Ford warning that a no-deal Brexit would be ‘catastrophic,’ and Honda announcing plans to close its manufacturing plant in Swindon, UK.

Many of these press releases, along with others, have been flagged as propaganda but the signals have not been positive for the UK manufacturing outlook. You can stifle the conversation, but the effects do not go away.

There are so many possible outcomes from this political situation, and our viewpoint has always been to influence and control what we can, instead of waste time and money on things we cannot influence. Rather than complain about what might happen, we will set ourselves up in a position that we can thrive in any situation.

At Datum, we constantly concentrate on creating things that people need and doing it better than anyone else. Our main market, surface mount technology (SMT), is constantly driven by miniaturisation and designing printed circuit boards (PCB) that give freedom to developers to create the new fancy phone or smart watch and the technology of the future.

With this in mind, we have developed processes that open up the possibilities from a design perspective by increasing the accuracy of the products we provide.

In doing this we have reduced the risk to future business from political uncertainty by taking charge of our own success and doing things nobody else can do. This will mean that, in the future, the value that we provide will be something that the market cannot get from anybody else.

Even with the best talent and technology, we can never control politics or politicians; they will always be unpredictable. But we can control and influence our own capabilities. For a business to succeed you need customers, and you will only have customers if you provide something that they need – investing into our products, processes, and innovations that help our customers is where we choose to invest.

And it’s going to pay off many times over.