BluJay Solutions: UK Supply Chains Go Local
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 , 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.
5 minutes with... Janthana Kaenprakhamroy, CEO, Tapoly
Founder and CEO of award-winning insurtech firm Tapoly, Janthana Kaenprakhamroy heads up Europe’s first on-demand insurance platform for the gig economy, winning industry awards, innovating in the digital insurance space, and leading with inclusivity.
Here, Business Chief talks to Janthana about her leadership style and skills.
What do you do, in a nutshell?
I’m founder and CEO of Tapoly, a digital MGA providing a full stack of commercial lines insurance specifically for SMEs and freelancers, as well as a SaaS solution to connect insurers with their distribution partners. We build bespoke, end-to-end platforms encompassing the whole customer journey, but can also integrate our APIs within existing systems. We were proud to win Insurance Provider of the Year at the British Small Business Awards 2018 and receive silver in the Insurtech category at the Efma & Accenture Innovation in Insurance Awards 2019.
How would you describe your leadership style?
I try to be as inclusive a leader as possible. I’m committed to creating space for everyone to shine. Many of the roles at Tapoly are performed by women and I speak at industry events to encourage more people to get involved in insurance/insurtech. Similarly, I always try to maintain a growth mindset. I think it’s important to retain values to support learning and development, like reliability, working hard and punctuality.
What’s the best leadership advice you’ve received?
Build your network and seek advice. As a leader, you need smart people around you to help you grow your business. It’s not about personally being the best, but being able to find resources and get help where needed.
How do you see leadership changing in a COVID world?
I think the pandemic has proven the importance of inclusive leadership so that everyone feels supported and valued. It’s also shown the importance of being flexible as a leader. We’ve had to remain adaptable to continue delivering high levels of customer service. This flexibility has also been important when supporting employees as everyone has had individual pressures to deal with during this time. Leaders should continue to embed this flexibility within their organisations moving forward.
They say ‘from every crisis comes opportunity’, what opportunities do you see?
The past year has been challenging, but it has also proven the importance of digital transformation in insurance. When working from home was required, it was much harder for insurers to adjust who had not embedded technology within their operating processes because they did not have data stored in the cloud and it caused communication delays with concerned customers at a time when this communication should have been a priority, which ultimately impacts the level of customer satisfaction. This demonstrates the importance of what we are trying to achieve at Tapoly in driving digitalisation in insurance and making communication between insurers and distribution partners seamless.
What advice would you give to your younger self just starting out in the industry?
Start sooner, don’t be afraid to take (calculated) risks and make sure you raise enough money to get you through the initial seed stage.