In recent years, many companies have seen their supply chains move from being local to global and the key trends for 2019 are likely to be influenced by the changes that have been put in place over time; however, geopolitical events have also begun to have an impact and companies are looking nervously at how their chains can be maintained.
Global trade agreements have been the driving force for international commerce and have seen the complexity of the supply chain grow. Although there have been clear financial benefits, the complexity of the system has been impacted.
With the US administration threatening a global trade war and rescinding pan-regional deals, international trade is under threat. Add to this the uncertainty over Brexit and the potential hike in tariffs and it is obvious that companies that rely on a complicated supply chain will have to plan ahead.
There has been talk in recent weeks of food chains stockpiling goods and manufacturing companies preparing to order parts ahead of their usual schedule. These developments mean that companies will have to look closely at their warehousing facilities; for example, shelving will be crucial as they look to utilise their floorspace as efficiently as possible.
New options can be found online and advice from storage experts will be crucial if businesses are to continue to run smoothly in the wake of the upheavals predicted over the next year.
Managing these supply chains has been relatively straightforward recently; however, most analysts believe that there are many challenges ahead. The political uncertainty will translate to the business world, with companies that adopt a wait-and-see philosophy likely to face problems. Customs issues causing delays in delivery will affect production – and sales further down the line – yet many firms have not put contingency plans in place.
The end of the supply chain involves the company’s ability to deliver its own goods, so labour issues cannot be ignored. In terms of warehousing, reducing labour costs by introducing efficient shelving can help to ensure that some of the uncertainty in the political world can be mitigated in terms of its impact on the sector.
Investment in storage will mitigate rather than solve the problems thrown up by supply line disruption; however, this is a crucial step that companies have some control over.