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Brexit and your Supply Chain

As you know by now, European President Jean-Claude Juncker had a meeting with British Prime Minister Theresa May last Friday morning to agree a historic deal defining the terms of Britain’s divorce from the EU. If all that was agreed on December 8th comes to pass, the UK has essentially committed to a soft Brexit.

Ireland has done well in Phase 1 of the Brexit negotiations, including preserving the Common Trade Area, protecting the Good Friday Agreement and, crucially, obtaining a guarantee that there will be no hard border. It is now for the European Council to decide today if sufficient progress has been made to allow the negotiations to proceed to Phase 2, which is a significant step forward in the process leading towards UK withdrawal from the EU in March 2019. It is expected that a transition period would last two years ensuring Britain will remain part of the customs union and single market (including being subject to EU law) until 2021.

Thereafter, the risks and unknowns for your business need to be carefully considered. Most proactive businesses have started to document Brexit assumptions within their Brexit action plans, supporting their planning and strategy work. Whether importing directly or indirectly from the UK, the impacts to your operating model, supplier base, cost base and working capital requirements needs to de analysed, to understand where the areas of greatest risk are (so as to develop suitable mitigating actions to reduce the impact of Brexit on your business).

 

Specifically focusing on your supply-base and imports, can you answer the following 5 questions to identify risks and resilience steps for your business?

 

  1. What suppliers will impact the business most if they cannot supply you tomorrow?

 

  1. Do you know what % of your goods and services are coming directly or indirectly from the UK?

 

  1. Have you researched alternative non-UK suppliers?

 

  1. Are there contracts, licenses or regulations restricting your global sourcing strategies?

 

  1. Are you aware of the potential additional costs to import from Europe in terms of hubbing, logistics partners, Minimum Order Quantities plus the impact on cash flow?

 

As Arvo have been participating in Enterprise Ireland’s Brexit Roadshows recently, let us know today how we can help build resilience into your supply chain for Brexit (& other Political, Economic & Technological events that may cause risks for your business in future).

What is RFx?

As a Procurement Service listed on our marketing materials and website, the most common query we receive from clients reviewing our services is, what is RFx? To which we reply, “RFx does not stand for anything specifically; as the RF stands for “Request For” and the x is just a placeholder for I, P, B, T and / or Q i.e;

  • Request for Information (RFI),
  • Request for Proposal (RFP),
  • Request for Bid (RFB) (or sometimes Request for Price (RFP)),
  • Request for Tender (RFT), and /or
  • Request for Quote (RFQ).

 

We clarify that the RFI / RFP / RFQ are the most common Tendering processes used in the strategic sourcing and procurement cycles, while noting that the RFx process is difficult to define as it can range from a simple one-time RFQ to a complex multi-stage RFI / RFP / RFQ process, depending on the needs of the client. Choosing the most appropriate RFx process, is an important task which depends on the objectives of the sourcing event, the completeness of the product/service requirements, the number of suppliers involved, the level of competition between such suppliers, the inherent risk in the sourcing effort, and projected cost savings or cost avoidance opportunities.

 

typical Arvo sourcing event will consist of the 3 processes, where;

  1. The RFI is used to collect all stakeholder requirements, determine market interest before pre-qualifying interested and appropriate suppliers,
  2. The RFP is used to gather supplier offers in relation to their products, services, expertise and solutions, before
  3. The RFQ is used for suppliers to finalise their commercials proposals and quotations, leading to a final award decision (while even considering the use of Reverse Auctions at this stage)

 

Undoubtedly numerous benefits exist to regularly and correctly Tender (RFx) such spends but the 2 most important benefits of all sourcing events are to recognise that;

  1. Requests for either information or proposals can provide valuable insight into the current market situation, and
  2. Cost savings or cost avoidance opportunities exist throughout the process.

 

Finally, numerous platforms exist to expedite the Tender (or eTender) process so as to provide assistance with communications, pre-prepared templates, workflow management, access control and analytic tools. When you require assistance with your next Sourcing Challenge, be it a simple one-time RFQ to a complex multi-stage RFI / RFP / RFQ process, contact us to discuss further.