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Getting Brexit Ready – Practical Tips for Success

Although many of us may have Brexit fatigue, now is the time for Irish businesses to shape up and get prepared to ensure a smooth transition and omit the risk of any nasty surprises. There will likely be changes to your internal and external processes and so here at ncco – although we are not a Brexit Consultancy nor Brexit experts, we are process improvement experts – we can advise and support you over the coming months… starting with this top-line, quick-win blog post. 

Being truly Brexit-ready means that we need to understand how our business processes will be affected. The uncertainty around Brexit can be disconcerting, however, whilst so much is still unknown, we can prepare our systems and teams for these inevitable changes to ensure a smoother transition, thus creating efficiency and calm as Brexit day draws nearer.  

Team Talk

Get your teams together and begin to ‘process map’ your current processes and identify from there where there will be changes to your processes. The teams you really need to focus on could include:

  • Warehouse
  • Shipping
  • Operations
  • Finance
  • Admin
  • Stock Control
  • Sales
  • Marketing
  • Customer Support

– as there will likely be changes across all of these functions. 

If you are not familiar with process mapping, there are several great tutorials on YouTube and resources from EI and LEO that can support you to train your organisations on this important tool – see the resources at the end of this post.  

Top Tip: include all your staff in updates, training and any process improvement activities that you organise… this creates a happy, contented and secure culture within your teams.

Process mapping is an essential task for Irish businesses seeking to prepare for Brexit

Visualise how Brexit will affect your processes

Next, you need to visualise the process using process mapping or software tools, such as Mural, and identify the areas that may or will require change. What can be done now? For example, if the finance team realise there will be several new tax rates for import/export to the UK, do the operators of the finance software know how to change these rates or add new tax levels within their system? If not, now is the time to organise short training sessions for the relevant staff with your finance package vendor (such as SAP, Sage, Xero, Oracle etc). 

If you export to the UK – are you preparing now for new certificates and licenses that you may need to require? Similarly, many licenses were previously issued by the UK – will these be recognised by the EU post-Brexit? Will there be a definite lengthening of the export process or once you have renewed all the latest certificates and licenses, will the process be very similar to things pre-Brexit? Be as thorough on every element of your business as you can to ensure that you are as up to date as possible with regulations and standards, and ensure these are also built into your actions and task (to-do) list ASAP. Check out NSAI and gov.ie to keep up to date with your requirements in this area.  

Seek expert support

Besides private consultation and agencies offering Brexit and Process Improvement supports and training, Enterprise Ireland and your Local Enterprise Office provide free or subsidised in-depth training and supports – it’s definitely worth checking them out.  

Now is a GREAT time to address all processes, structures and systems. Use this time wisely, as improving your processes will not only get you as Brexit ready as possible but will also build strong collaboration and communication between your teams, thus leading your business to improved productivity, profitability and to be a happier place to work. 

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