Brexit will have significant implications for the UK healthcare sector and many companies are already looking for ways to mitigate the supply chain issues that will arise as a result of Brexit. In fact, a recent industry survey revealed that more than 50% of respondents feel that the UK is no longer an ideal place to operate a healthcare business. This statistic highlights the concerns that many have about the potential financial burdens caused by Brexit.
Fortunately, there are several ways that healthcare businesses can mitigate any supply chain issues.
1. Switch to More Cost-Effective Suppliers
Since cost-efficiency is one of the primary concerns for healthcare companies, finding suppliers that offer low prices should be the number one priority for a healthcare business looking to avoid any financial issues. From ordering office supplies, furniture, pipettes, fridges / freezers, to research tools, there are large price variations in the market across different suppliers and vendors. It is important to always shop around and take advantage of any price comparisons and discounts advertised. Always remember to check the price comparison data yourself and read the terms and conditions of discounts to confirm its validity. In many cases, you can also get discounts by negotiating directly with the supplier – this is especially true for small companies who can be more flexible in their price structure and deliver terms.
2. Practice Careful Contract Management
Many healthcare businesses are in the practice of outsourcing their contract management needs to a group purchasing organization (GPO). While this approach can seem more convenient because it reduces the in-house burden on lab employees, it can lead to suboptimal negotiations and contracts, which might then go unnoticed. This means that healthcare companies should ensure that they thoroughly check to see how any of their contracts might have changed once Brexit takes place.
3. Develop Better Inventory Management Systems
Poor inventory and equipment management can cause a healthcare company to engage in over-ordering or understocking, both of which can create supply chain issues. Brexit will impact upon supply and demand within the industry, so it is wise to revise your approach towards this aspect of business administration. Effectively collaborating with your suppliers through comprehensive inventory tracking and ordering systems will help prevent oversights that could lead to shortages or overages in the supply chain.
4. Leverage Tech and Analytics
The use of big data and analytical tools can help healthcare businesses refine their supply chain management practices by finding more ways to save money and increase efficiency. It would be wise for healthcare businesses to analyse reports and compare them to pre-Brexit statistics in order to find any changes that could be reducing the affordability or reliability of their supply chain.
Supply Chain Management is One of the Most Crucial Administrative Duties
Ultimately, healthcare companies that are based in or operating out of the UK need to understand the importance of proper supply chain management. By heeding the above advice, executives, managers, and company owners can steer their business in the right direction to mitigate any negative effect that Brexit might have on their businesses.