I recognise that as an EU citizen living in the UK, offering an unbiased view on Brexit is a tall order. Indeed, the rights of EU nationals already living in the UK, and UK nationals living in EU countries, are some of many negotiations in progress—the outcomes of which are not guaranteed to be in the UK’s favour. The Seal Software EMEA team is an internationally diverse one, so as the UK follows Brexit news and developments on a daily basis, two years after the referendum, we try to forecast what that fundamentally different future holds.
Businesses find themselves in a similar state of uncertainty, and the workload of sifting through hundreds of thousands of contracts is immense. In an effort to stay solution-oriented, companies are readying themselves with an increasing sense of urgency. Will we be able to buy goods and services the way we always have done? Will our goods move across borders? Will our revenue stay on an upward curve?
In the wake of Brexit, companies must also consider its impact on their supply chain. As suppliers face the need to adjust to a new reality, an undoubtedly more complex operating environment is difficult to navigate. Protections to vital assets, such as intellectual property, hang in the balance. All of these impacts are substantive and must be thoroughly understood. Things to consider:
If you thought GDPR was a blip in your browser and an inconvenience in your inbox, try and fathom the impact of Brexit on your contracts, the lifeblood of your organisation. According to the Institute of Export and International Trade, in the UK, only 606 companies have Authorised Economic Operator status, which offers fast-track customs operations and is a significant advantage when trading across borders. In France, there are 1,505. In Germany, 6,000. Our ability to trade will be significantly impacted, and measuring that impact needs to be high on every business’ agenda. Contracts are not set up to deal with a different customs border, so checking incoterms and potentially repapering is high on the agenda.
What We Can Do
Visibility into which clients and contracts would be likely to wish to renegotiate on account of Brexit is essential in order to build a picture of the impact when applied at scale. Seal can examine how you procure and take a look at the contracts you have with suppliers, and what’s in those contracts. We can prepare by taking a large-scale look at your contracts and determining where you need to act to remediate and repaper. We can check Force Majeure provisions and analyse whether Brexit would trigger the right to terminate on the client’s behalf. Renegotiations take time but homing in on the specific contracts where clauses are missing, or are inadequate, can be cut down by as much as 80% using our AI and machine-learning. What contracts lack the detail to deal with a new customs border? That probably wasn’t something that was thought about when the contract was drawn up a few years ago. That is, if you can even find the contract.
Businesses have a choice. You can prepare and can replace uncertainty with insight into their contractual position, regardless of the scale. We say this because we have helped customers overcome 50M+ contract reviews. We know how to do this. And rather like every other regulatory requirement which comes along, and every other procurement team’s revenue optimisation objective, we know how to find and draw insight to position business advantage. This is a requisite if we are to survive as the effects of Brexit take hold.
For more insights, register for our “Brexit Breakfast Briefing” and learn how to leverage our award-winning AI-powered technology as you prepare for Brexit.
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