31 May 2019
Doubts, indecision and fear around a potential no-deal
Brexit in October have created a chaotic situation for organisations across the
Many businesses had already begun stockpiling goods
including food, clothing and medicine in the run-up March 29, the original date
pencilled in for the UK to leave the European Union. But as they seek to
continue storing goods, they face an availability battle as most warehouses
have already had space booked to deal with the busy Christmas period.
Meanwhile, many businesses have delayed or abandoned
investment plans due to uncertainty or the need to prepare for different Brexit
But the growing flow of
goods into Britain is the pressing issue. The latest numbers from TIMOCOM’s
transport barometer - which measures transport demand through its freight
exchange – found that truck transports towards Great Britain more than doubled
in the first quarter of 2019 compared to the previous year.With many warehouses already operating at capacity, new answers will need to be
found in order to meet the stream of goods that shows no signs of slowing.
Businesses in the UK that depend on imports from the EU are
keen to increase their UK stock in preparation for a hard Brexit, which would
involve the UK not only leaving the EU but also the single market and customs
As well as creating huge bottlenecks that could affect
transport routes, the biggest issue is the dwindling capacity that UK warehouse
owners are able to offer.
Even before the March 29 deadline, three-quarters of UK
warehouse owners said they had reached capacity. Meanwhile, storage costs rocketed
by up to 25% following the surge in Brexit-related inquiries.
In January, The UK
Warehousing Association (UKWA) told The Guardian there was a shortage of space
close to major cities for stockpiling goods in case of holdups at ports after a
no-deal exit from the EU. A survey of UKWA members also found that 85% had
received Brexit-related inquiries, but about 75% were unable to take on more
business from new customers.
From Bentley to Brampton, many
companies have announced stockpiling plans and while some products can be
stored easily for long periods others cannot.
For example, pharmaceuticals storage
is understood to be at capacity while frozen and chilled food warehouse are
also fully booked.
So what can be done?
The current situation may be chaotic, but for warehouses the
problem is really a simple one: more imports means more stock to manage.
Managing more stock puts pressure on people, space and time. But
above all it puts pressure on processes. The question comes down to whether
your processes are robust enough to deal with these uncertain times and ensure
that you can work at maximum capacity while retaining the ability to stay
flexible to short-term changes.
If you’re thinking that this will be difficult to do with paper-based
outdated technology, you’re right. Not only will older systems be unable to
cope with modern demands, even maintaining them can become a drain on
complexity and level of management required will quickly overwhelm those who do
not take advantage of the latest technology to help improve the efficiency and
effectiveness of their operation.
But if you’re going to introduce new technology, smart spending
will be vital. The winners during this crucial period will be those who
maintain productivity and cost effectiveness while implementing systems that
are robust enough to support both their current operation and additional needs.
The good news is that helpful technology is more accessible than ever,
and it can have an almost instant impact in terms of replacing paper-based
processes and improving visibility over stock.
This usually involves staff using reliable and rugged mobile
devices to send and receive data, while a management system oversees that data
and identifies how processes can be enhanced and flexibility can be improved.
A system that offers a real-time view of inventory will offer
managers better visibility of their operation. But implementing a management
system on top of a rollout of new technology can be a complex process.
However, with the support of a logistics expert it can be an
easy transition that will ensure you are futureproofed. A good partner will
look at the situation as a whole and design a solution that can be phased-in
according to each unique site.
A trusted logistics expert that understands your business
challenges can help you refine and establish your operational and strategic
objectives and make the right technology choices. They can also help with
deployment and any training that may be needed to work with specialist
ABOUT THE AUTHOR - PETER MARSH
Peter joined TouchStar (formally Belgravium) in a sales manager role in 2001. Prior to joining the company, Peter held Partner and National Sales Manager roles within the parcel and logistics industries.
In 2011 Peter was promoted to Sales Director and is now actively involved in promoting the value of TouchStar’s Rugged Mobile Computing solutions to the warehouse, logistics, manufacturing and field service industries. When not involved in the business, Peter is a keen and enthusiastic football and cricket fan.
Based in the UK and with over three decades of experience
within the development of mobile computers for warehouse environments,
TouchStar has the knowledge to confidently offer mobile computing solutions to
successfully addresses key business issues.
TouchStar’s handheld, wearable, and vehicle-mounted mobile
computers are purpose-built to provide enterprise-level support to meet new
challenges. From labour-intensive tasks to fully automated environments, TouchStar’s
rugged mobile computers help reduce errors and significantly increase
productivity and availability.
TouchStar offers extremely competitive prices on all its
devices helping minimise procurement costs. TouchStar’s experts are just a
phone call away to help you choose the right products for your needs.
Contact us to talk to our experts today.