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Why Trump should change your mind about supply chains

Words: Toby Munyard
We all know what did happen, but let’s start by looking at what didn’t. There was no market meltdown, the dollar didn’t collapse, the sun came up.

Life is neither “business as usual” nor “catastrophe”. In a word, the next few pages of the history books will feature “uncertainty” writ large.

First Brexit and now Trump reinforce the popular and absolute rejection of the status quo. Antiestablishmentarianism is now a trend, so we had better get used to coping with it.  Out with the old, complacent conventions about “just how things are” and in with the new - but how we do adapt quickly in this environment?

If you run an enterprise, what is important is the effect of world events on business through trade deals, raw materials, cross-border trade, currency, and regulation changes.

Map your supply chain

You can’t develop a strategy for all possible futures unless and until you’ve built up a thorough understanding of your existing supply chain. Staying in control while others are losing it means mapping your supply chain down the tiers of supply. Ranking it, understanding the risks and developing a plan B for every stage.

Preparation is everything

After headcount, third party suppliers are the biggest cost in business. If your suppliers (or key staff for that matter) are based in a different country, things are getting much more complicated. But forewarned is forearmed, be it leaving the EU or building walls, the reality around movement of labour is going to change. Preparation is everything.

Geography teaches us that aftershocks follow earthquakes. The story of the next couple of years will be the unforeseen consequences of Brexit and the US election playing out in practice, in ways we will never expect.

This level of uncertainty should make you worry because a rigid supply chain is like a railway track - neither look pretty or work well after a seismic event and there is more to come.

This level of uncertainty should make you worry because a rigid supply chain is like a railway track - neither look pretty or work well after a seismic event and there is more to come.

Our experience shows that the businesses we have worked with to map and forecast their supply chain and procurement plans, are better prepared to cope with the continued ripples and aftershocks that will continue post 2016. Now is the time for business leaders to lead, there is no point waiting for things to quiet before undertaking a root and branch analysis of your business because there just will not be a quiet six months to do it in.

Gain visibility over your supply chain through Efficio's Spend Insights Service

Efficio's Spend Insights Service allows clients to make actionable decisions based on robust analyses and categorised data. The Insights generated act as a guide to support procurement activity from opportunity identification through to performance and risk monitoring. We couple our analyses with client validation and leading developments in procurement for the relevant industries and categories to ensure accuracy of the insights derived. Our clients cover a wide variety of sectors, ranging from a major UK utilities company and German industrial coatings company, through to one of the world's largest banks.

Get in touch to find out more
Contact our expert

Toby Munyard Vice President