Export news in brief: Brexit, SMEs, supply chain, risk, natural disasters

Export news in brief
Export news in brief

SMEs continue to battle Brexit uncertainty

Business owners are becoming increasingly wary of the impact of a potential Brexit with 81% of respondents felt that Britain leaving the EU would negatively impact their business, up 13% from June 2015.

This is according to the latest Smith & Williamson Enterprise Index. Smith & Williamson head of entrepreneurial services Guy Rigby said: “When we first sought business owners’ thoughts on Brexit, the Conservative Party had just been elected and a potential Brexit felt quite remote. However, as we approach the referendum date, business leaders are seemingly more apprehensive about the prospect of leaving the EU.”

There were also worries for businesses that export. Those who expected their turnover to increase over the coming year declined 12% since the end of the last quarter. There was a concern over the financial health of trading partners, only 55% believed their health was improving, a seven point decline over just three months.

International supply chain risk on the rise

Supply chain risk rose for the second consecutive quarter in Q1 2016, with several natural disasters revealing stark regional differences in the resilience of global supply chains.

According to the CIPS Risk Index, produced for the Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply (CIPS) by Dun and Bradstreet economists, international supply chain risk grew from 79.3 in Q4 2015 to 79.8 in Q1 2016, the joint highest recorded level of supply chain risk in a first quarter since records began in 1995 with North Africa, Western Europe, Asia and Latin America all seeing levels of supply chain risk grow.

CIPS Economist and Senior Economics Lecturer at The Cranfield School of Management John Glen said: “The latest Risk Index shows that a lack of trust between businesses can be just as damaging to global supply chains as a natural disaster.

“The weak link in your supply chain is just as likely to be a lack of cultural understanding among procurers as it is the threat of a freak weather system.”

Glen explained that the first step to building resilient supply chains is identifying what those risks are.