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Supply chain management Cultivating the cross border business flow

In light of the recent uncertainties in the UK, businesses have been questioning the robustness of existing and future global trade networks. Penelope Rance looks at what role the CFO has in helping to secure the integrity of supply chains.

Despite the increasingly nationalistic trends in politics, for most companies business remains an international game. Even the most modest SME is likely to source products or services from overseas, with supply chains forming an expanding, often tangled, net that encases the planet.

The Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply (CIPS) index, tracking the impact of economic and political developments on the stability of global supply chains, puts vulnerability at an all-time high. The UK’s decision to leave the European Union and president Trump’s decision to pull out of the Transpacific trade agreement reflect a growing trend of protectionism. For this reason, “supply chain risk is set to increase further in 2017”, said John Glen, CIPS economist and director of the Centre for Customised Executive Development at the Cranfield School of Management.

How then are businesses to ensure that the pipelines stay open, not least in the face of possible changes in cross-border regulations that may result from Britain’s exit from the EU in a few years’ time?

This is an extract from the Business & Management Magazine, Issue 255, June 2017. 

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