CIPS: is the materials supply chain ready for Brexit?
It is reported that the overriding message from the report is that there is a need for much earlier engagement across the entire supply chain, as well as the need for enhanced forecasting information to anticipate and manage supply and demand.
The two companies will regularly update the report, with the most recent version available via . The report was designed to help the industry understand the materials supply chain and how they will be affected by changes in regulations, currency fluctuations, transport arrangements and import duties at the end of the Brexit transition period.
- If a ‘No Deal’ was to happen the predicted increase in duty and other costs range from two per cent to eight per cent
- Import levels for steel are expected to be similar to 2020, however under a ‘No Deal’, supply chains will experience a 25% tariff applied to the net price of products that exceed the quota
- Products such as lifts, facades and cladding which are solely imported from Europe are currently on the ‘watch list’ due to usually being made to order there is limited stock held in the UK, projects requiring these projects should look to place orders earlier than usual
- Timber has been in short supply since March 2020, advanced ordering and working closely with supply chains is advised for the first two quarters of 2021
“Materials suppliers have prepared for the anticipated disruption and delays in the materials supply chain as a result of the end of the Brexit transition period. In an effort to avoid relying on importing materials in January 2021, the supply chain has already ‘stockpiled’ for the first month of the year,” commented . Who explains that while current information is not identifying any materials as ‘high risk’, organisations should expect longer lead times. “Conversations with suppliers and manufacturers should be taking place now for projects expecting significant use of imported materials in the first quarter of 2021 and programmes reviewed accordingly,” added .
Pandora and IBM digitise jewellery supply chain
Pandora has overhauled its global supply chain in partnership with IBM amid an ecommerce sales boom for its hand-finished jewellery.
The company found international success offering customisable charm bracelets and other personalised jewellery though its chain of bricks and mortar retail destinations. But in 2020, as the COVID-19 outbreak forced physical stores to close, Pandora strengthened its omnichannel operations and doubled online sales.
A focus on customer experience included deploying IBM’s Sterling Order Management, increasing supply chain resiliency and safeguarding against disruption across the global value chain.
Pandora leverages IBM Sterling Order Management as the backbone it its omnichannel fulfilment, with Salesforce Commerce Cloud powering its ecommerce. Greater automation across its channels has boosted the jeweller’s sustainability credentials, IBM said, streamlining processes for more efficient delivery. It has also given in-store staff and virtual customer service representatives superior end-to-end visibility to better meet consumer needs.
Jim Cruickshank, VP of Digital Development & Retail Technology, Pandora, said the digital transformation journey has brought “digital and store technology closer together and closer to the customer”, highlighting how important the customer journey remains, even during unprecedented disruption.
"Our mission is about creating a personal experience and we've instituted massive platform changes with IBM Sterling and Salesforce to enable new digital-first capabilities that are much more individualised, localised and connected across channels and markets,” he added.
Pandora’s pivot to digital
The pandemic forced the doors closed at most of Pandora’s 2,700 retail locations. To remain competitive, it pivoted to online retail. Virtual queuing for stores and virtual product trials via augmented reality (AR) technology went someway to emulating the in-store experience and retail theatre that is the brand’s hallmark. Meanwhile digital investments in supply chain efficiency was central to delivering on consumer demand.
“Consumer behaviour has significantly shifted and will continue to evolve with businesses needing to quickly adapt to new preferences and needs,” said Kareem Yusuf, General Manager, AI Applications and Blockchain, IBM. “To address this shift, leading retailers like Pandora rely on innovation to increase their business agility by enabling and scaling sustainable supply chain operations using AI and cloud.”
Yusuf said Pandora’s success was indicative of how to remain competitive by “finding new ways to create differentiated customer experiences that protect their enterprises from disruptions to help mitigate risk and accelerate growth”.