BluJay Solutions: UK Supply Chains Go Local

By Stefan Tärneberg, Director of Solution Consulting at BluJay Solutions
Stefan Tärneberg, Director of Solution Consulting at BluJay Solutions explains why UK supply chains are going global as a result of Brexit and COVID...

Regardless of how the UK leaves the EU at the end of this year – either by crashing out or securing a last-minute deal – trade at the border will become more complicated, more time-consuming, and more resource-intensive. The customer will ultimately bear some of the burden, paying more for imported products. Amid this, local goods have a chance to thrive.

Both Brexit and COVID have inspired governments to foster more resilient national economies long term. In BluJay’s 2020 research, 75% of logistics professionals said their companies will make changes to supply chain practices based on lessons learned from the pandemic. The sort of financial recovery governments and businesses pursue will reshape the supply chain’s future. Although this is by no means the end of global trade, we can expect protectionist processes to put the brakes on supply chain globalisation and favour local manufacturing instead for some sectors. The ‘going local’ effect will present opportunity to supply chain operators who can adapt quickly.  

An increase in specialised production will trigger a more distributed supply chain. Rather than in one megastore, goods will be dispersed in different places. To make sure the supply chain remains effective and efficient, a new model of logistics will need to develop to handle this larger number of points of supply, production, distribution, and most crucially – delivery.  

Small businesses may not be able to deploy enormous delivery teams or juggle many different wholesale suppliers, as globalised companies often do. At the same time consumers are still expecting quick, easy and personalised delivery for all their purchases.  

To solve this problem, companies are innovating to create new delivery services which can support these local suppliers. Think of this as the Deliveroo of fresh goods, with multiple purchases of local produce from different shops all in one delivery to your front door. It’s green, and it’s inexpensive. This exciting innovation is happening right now, as many communities and individuals vow to ‘go local’ this holiday season to support local businesses in their COVID-19 recovery. 

From now, we’ll see employment growing within this local, distributed supply chain model, in addition to new roles required at the post-Brexit border in the form of customs tech experts and logistics planners. With improving resilience and , we can expect logistics to grow in importance in businesses. Soon, the Chief Supply Chain Officer could have a far more influential role over the strategy deployed by businesses across the country.

For more information on business topics in Europe, Middle East and Africa please take a look at the latest edition of Business Chief EMEA.

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