New challenges and new opportunities for Irish businesses post-Brexit

Brexit is the biggest challenge
facing Irish enterprise. We would see that, obviously, in the short term,
currency fluctuation has been the biggest impact to date. Companies are saying the
impact of potential tariffs are obviously a major concern.
The whole impact on supply chain. For many people, their sub-supply chain
starts maybe in Germany, goes into the UK, comes back into Ireland and the
eurozone, so they’re taking additional costs because of all the currency
transfers along the way. So companies have looked at the supply chain, they’ve
become more streamlined and more competitive. Then, of course, the
uncertainty. Businesses do not like uncertainty, and that uncertainty has
continued for over three years and still continues. So those are the issues that
companies are facing. We export into the UK and we export to about 40 different countries worldwide on our online business. That could be anywhere from
innocuous places like Ecuador to the US, Australia, New Zealand. We’ve set up a
brand new plant in Mullingar, added an extra 12 people to our workforce.
We’re producing in Ireland for the Irish market, we’re using our contract
manufacturers for the UK market, and if they have to supply Northern Ireland
with a border, we can do that. Or it can be supplied from Mullingar. In other words,
we’ve insulated ourselves and protected ourselves so we’re Brexit-proof. Anything that may delay the delivery of our product to site may impact us adversely, so, if there was a customs clearance time, that would affect our clients and
therefore would have a roll-on effect to us. We have been investing heavily in other
markets so while we still continue to see growth in the UK market, we’ve been
investing a lot of resources with attending additional trade fairs and
employing staff to concentrate on growing our overseas markets in other
areas, mostly in the European area, but further and further afield as well. The advice I would give anybody is: Let’s have a no regrets policy. Make sure
you’ve done as much as you can in order to be able to address the factors that
are within your control.

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