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In this time of uncertainty around the future nature of the UK’s relationship with Europe, particularly in the short to medium term, enabling risk management within operations is high on the business agenda.

Determining your team to identify and manage those risks is a key task in the run-up to March 29th. Supply chain analytics, driven by up-to-the-minute data can provide some of the tools you need to ensure the process is managed in an orderly way.

As business leaders, we recognise that there are some things we cannot control, however putting in place contingencies, driven by timely, actionable, business insights, will put your organisation in the best possible place as Brexit plays out over the coming months.

In this post, we highlight five of the areas where key KPIs directly affected by the UK’s withdrawal from the EU can be surfaced, quickly without the need to embark on a major analytics project.

1. Avoid breaking the chain

Firstly, start by creating a dashboard which identifies your continental based suppliers and customers, making sure it includes a simple traffic light rating, based on those supply chain risk factors, which may affect trade with them.

ERP systems, of course, hold the master data you’ll be able to use to create powerful map-based visualisations, which show your areas of greatest exposure. Tools such as Microsoft PowerBI make this type of analysis easily and rapidly available to those in the business who need it.


But, as time is of the essence, you need not to embark on a full re-engineering of your data warehouse to add risk ratings. Simple extracts from your ERP database into an Excel-based risk register can quickly unlock these types of impactful visuals.

2. Link direct to the market

Those business affected by prices on commodities markets can take advantage of direct links to market pricing via commercially available feeds, which can be used for historical analysis to make future predictions.


3. Workforce planning

Analysing the country of origin of your key staff was possibly the first thing that most organisations that use seasonal migrant labour from the EU looked at. Using the powerful geographical visualisations in tools once again, to show the likely future shift in this area and the potential impact upon your cost base. PowerBI should be your first port of call for producing this kind of dashboard in minutes rather than days.

4. Rate of Exchange

Keeping an eye on the impact of the pound is of course hugely important and once again, feeds are available to bring this key variable into play.

5. Other key Brexit measures

The following measures can be generated using dimensions and transactional data in most ERP solutions.

  • Sales and purchases percentages by EU with counterparties by product/service categories
  • What if analysis of increases in duty between the UK and EU
  • Customs costs analysed product/commodity code
  • Potential cost of customs delays and impact on working capital
  • Likely cash flow impact relating to VAT relief

Need help to accelerate?

At Columbus, our experience in dealing with manufacturing and distribution businesses like yours over the last 30 years, has placed us in a unique position to be able to assist organisations to get the right management information, in the right hands quickly.

Our knowledge of the processes and data that drive your business, coupled with our technical expertise with the Microsoft Cloud platform mean that you can rely on us to be able to deliver your analytics requirements, rapidly, flexibly using agile techniques that will deliver the tools you need in these challenging times.

Learn more about what we can do for your business, whether you're mitigating the risks of Brexit or not, by clicking on the button below.

How we can help the manufacturing industry


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