By Barney Cox, Monday 11 February 2019
Uncertainty about Brexit continues to impact the print supply chain as the 29 March deadline looms.
One industry expert cautioned that firms taking steps to stockpile materials to avoid disrupting production may inadvertently cause themselves financial problems later in the year.
“The risk of material running out has been well covered, another concern is financial,” said Andrew Horn, managing director of ADH Consultants.
“Unless they’ve got their finances sorted you may see companies running out of road in May or June.
“People are thinking of the obvious – are they going to run out of stuff? – but what about running out of cash? Especially if it's tied up in inventory and work in progress.”
Some print companies have already taken the approach proposed by Horn and rather than stockpiling themselves have worked to ensure suppliers are able to ensure continuity.
“We have taken steps, and planned for a worst case scenario to make sure that our contingency plans don’t take us to the wire,” said Walstead Group chief operating officer Roy Kingston.
“Our core business is web offset, so we have relatively simple supply chains with a small number of big suppliers, which makes it a bit easier.
“We haven’t got large warehouses to fill and we won’t be stockpiling.
“We’ve asked all our suppliers what their plans are and left them to get on with it. The onus is on our suppliers.
“My hope is that common sense will prevail and any contingencies won’t be necessary.”