The decision by the UK to leave the EU on 29th, March 2019, or ‘Brexit’ as it is referred to, presents a series of challenges to businesses across both the UK and the wider European community. At VWR, part of Avantor, we continue to monitor the situation and are aware of the potential impact on our operations. We have put into place a dedicated team to ensure business continuity and that we are able to deliver the best support and services for our customers as the transition of the UK away from the EU takes place.
During this period of uncertainty and as Brexit continues to unfold, we continue to prepare based on the scenario of maximum change (No Deal/Hard Brexit). Key areas we have considered include the impact of changes to tariffs, customs borders, exchange rates and regulatory frameworks, as well as on our integrated supply chain. Clearly these headlines cascade into adaptations for many areas of our internal organisation, from customer service, sales, and procurement, to finance, compliance, human resources and information technology. Our team is operating at every level of our business.
We have identified over 250 points that our organisation needs to consider to be prepared for Brexit and are making expected progress in completing these. Some specific actions that we have already taken to prepare for Brexit include
The establishment of a Brexit reservation stock process for our customers to use to secure supply of goods during Brexit. Please contact us at Brexit.IE@vwr.com if you would like to discuss reservation stocks further. Of course, with such a short time to go until the 29th of March, we can no longer guarantee that for each request our manufacturers have enough production capacity for additional demand, or that enough storage space will be available, but we assess each request on a case by case basis. Also, in case you plan to place additional orders to increase your stock levels or build safety stock, please discuss with your VWR account manager, customer service associate or contact us at Brexit.IE@vwr.com Increasing inventory for 774 critical stocked items (an additional 550 pallets) in our Ireland facility. In addition to stock reservations for specific customers, we have decided to increase our standard stocking levels.
We have worked with our logistics partners to identify alternative shipping routes and have plans in place to switch routes with minimal notice if and when required. For our shipments to Ireland we have changed our routes so that they no longer transit through the UK, avoiding any potential delays with shipments that transit from the EU through the UK
We have identified and secured additional storage space to house our increased inventory and customer reservation stocks
Despite all the political insecurity, we are confident that our planning will enable us to maintain high levels of customer service and will keep you informed of significant changes as events unfold.
In the meantime, we will be happy to discuss any of your specific concerns about our ongoing trading relationship with you.
In the event that you have further questions, please contact us at Brexit.IE@vwr.com.