Relocation considerations for businesses post-Brexit

Robert Odink, managing director at Cornestone, considers what companies thinking of relocating as a result of Brexit need to take into account and how they might manage their relocation.

Relocation after Brexit
Kaleesha Rajamantri, project manager and digital strategist at IRN, spoke to Robert Odink, managing director at Cornestone, who will be presenting a case study at the Brexit Business Planning Forum, on Wednesday 6th September 2017 at 12pm.

What are the costs related the Brexit? The tangibles vs. the intangibles?

As much as the macro economic effects of Brexit are being estimated to run into the billions of sterling, we are often confronted with the reality of potential severe impact on our client P&L’s. Obviously the regulated financial sector felt the impact of Brexit relocation needs first.In many markets where our clients operate, the effect of uncertainty has an impact on customer confidence with an impact on stable revenue development.The risk of losing the necessary skilled resources at the right cost level may cause productivity and quality issues over time.Relocating to Europe is not a simple remedy either, even if you operate an international or global supply operation or offer international (financial) services.

What do companies looking to relocate need to consider when making their decision?

Make no mistake, relocation of parts of a company, driven by the Brexit consequences on the business is complex and will have a wide variety of risks associated with it. It requires preparation with military precision and flawless execution to deliver business continuity.Many clients plan their relocation hoping for minimum disruption of their day-to-day business. Managing the relocation requires a skillset, so far removed from most of the companies’ regular management, the executive involved better not expect a smooth ride.Relocation of the business requires transfer of the operational processes, which may or may not be modified to suit the new environment. In the existing operation, management controls around the process were embedded in the business, parachuting the operational processes into a completely new environment, largely operated by new staff locally employed, requires the re-establishment of the right management controls around the process.What should be taken into account?
  • Poor management of the implementation
  • Inconsistent operational performance
  • Lack of standardised process control
  • Poor financial performance
  • Cultural change style active management
Having been through this process with a number of clients in various industries has taught us a great deal about how executives prepare (or don’t prepare) the company for a major relocation, and in some cases underestimate the impact on the day-to-day running.

How do companies remaining in the UK manage the new and challenging environment?

Brexit will absolutely have an impact on businesses in Britain. Continuing to operate from the UK will not have the challenge of relocation, but could mean facing a completely different competitive landscape and serious challenges throughout the entire supply chain.Brexit may have a shake-out effect on some industries in Britain, where it’s just a case of survival of the fittest. Cutting the waste out of operational processes is necessary to remain to be agile and competitive. Process control needs to be (re-) introduced and all levels of management need to be actively involved in the operating system.Cornerstone has had great successes with clients, introducing Clearview, our proprietary and bespoke visual performance management tools. Digital solutions that provide real-time and live dashboards of operational performance, allowing management to track variation against plan in any level of detail, also allowing short interval controls without taking the responsibility away from the appropriate management level.An era of change will arrive for business in the UK, whether companies decide to relocate to Europe as a consequence of the outcome of a Brexit referendum, or remain to be based on British soil.Read more stories from the Brexit Series:

An overview of Cornerstone

Cornerstone is an executive services firm. We work directly with FTSE 500 CEO's and MD’s, delivering operational excellence with a reduction of operating costs or enhanced revenue as a consequence. What sets us apart from many consulting firms is that we deliver tangible strategy execution support to clients in a challenging or changing environment.When executives have determined where the company needs to be in 3 to 5 years; Cornerstone will help to get them there in a controlled fashion, faster and sustainable. We look for the “high hanging fruit” – the areas that are a bit more difficult to achieve, both sides of EBITDA.In a nutshell, increasing our clients’ competitiveness in a challenging and changing environment. Most of our clients see Brexit as a major strategic challenge.For more news and interesting articles answering your questions about Brexit, visit the Brexit Series websiteClick here to find out more about the upcoming Brexit Business Planning Forum, London.For related news and features, visit our Brexit section.Access hundreds of global services and suppliers in our Online DirectoryClick to get to the Relocate Global Online Directory  Get access to our free Global Mobility Toolkit Global Mobility Toolkit download factsheets resource centre

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