If you read Glass & Glazing Products in October or Glass News in November, you’ll see that Mila has quite a lot to say about Brexit.
While there is still no deal secured, we think it’s prudent to be cautious but still optimistic, and that’s very much the message we’re putting out to customers.
We will be continuing our investment in new products next year and concentrating on delivering the very best service of course, but we’ll definitely be looking to reduce any unnecessary spending while there is still a risk that the UK could be faced with a hard Brexit.
I’ve been surprised by the number of customers who tell me they’re totally unconcerned about Brexit and who think that it won’t affect them. As our supply chain director Oliver Burgess pointed out in his article in Glass & Glazing Products, every single fabricator in the country could be affected if there is any sort of disruption to trade, because so many components used in this industry come in from overseas.
In theory, imports from outside the EU would not be affected but, if the ports are suddenly snarled up with extra checks having to be done on imports from inside, then the end result would be the same – delays and potential stock shortages.
There is a big risk to the housing market as well of course and we have no clear indication yet of how the money markets would respond.
I’m not scaremongering because I do believe we are edging towards a deal, but not making contingency plans for a hard Brexit just feels a bit reckless to me.
Here at Mila and within the Arran Isle group, the Brexit date in March means we will already have the additional stock on our shelves which we invest in every year to see us through the disruption around Chinese Near Year, but we’re advising customers to ask all their suppliers about their plans to identify any possible risks to their wider supply chain.
It’s all about ensuring continuity for your own business and in turn for your own customers. At this stage, Oliver’s suggestion to invest in a few weeks of additional stock to ensure that you ultimately stay in control of your own Brexit seems like very wise advice.