1st February 2021
Banner has a long established 'Brexit Task Force' who are responsible for reviewing the latest government updates and guidance each week. This team of people are helping us take all reasonable and sensible steps to mitigate the potential impacts to all stakeholders of this evolving situation.
The team will document details on this Brexit web page to share the guidance that Banner can give.
Please check on this site regularly for news and updates. For any questions or queries please contact your Banner account manager.
Following the Brexit agreement, Banner Group Ltd approached the end of the transition agreement in a strong position to be able to successfully navigate the challenges of Brexit. Here is a summary of the current position:
Importing Experience: As a regular importer from non-EU countries, we have agreements and processes in place that allow us to manage the new procedures relating to imports from EU Countries. We are working closely with our suppliers to support them in getting products into the UK as quickly as possible.
Base Data: We have made a significant investment in enhancing our product data in order to meet the new requirements for EU imports. We now hold details of the country of origin and the new 10 digit import tariff codes for all stock lines.
Existing Relationships: Banner Group Ltd has strong working relationships with all of the relevant parties (HMRC, freight forwarders and a wide base of supplier partners) which has meant we have access to required information, shared knowledge and were able to implement new customs arrangements quickly.
Knowledge: The wealth of knowledge across different departments within Banner Group Ltd (Finance, Inventory, Purchasing, Operations) enables us to be consistently in front of issues as they arise. We will continue to support supplier partners to make the new procedures as efficient as possible.
Presence on the Island of Ireland: Our logistical and financial infrastructures in ROI and NI mean we are able to adapt quickly and still provide a full and stable solution to customers based in the UK and Ireland. Banner operates a warehouse in Belfast that was previously partly supplied by the VOW warehouse in Dublin; we have now switched the majority of this supply requirement to Banner warehouses in England. We are successfully exporting and importing weekly shipments of stock from England into Northern Ireland and have seen very little disruption to supply.
Cost Increases: Banner Group Ltd benefits from being part of the evo Group of Companies and one of the largest re-sellers of workplace supplies in the UK. We will continue to leverage our purchasing power as much as possible, to secure the best possible prices. Nonetheless, the additional procedures required – together with the current shortage of available freight, which has caused prices to rise by up to 600% in the three months prior to February 2021 – means that Banner is currently taking significant cost increases, which are wholly beyond our control. We are mitigating these costs as much as possible, but we may be forced to ask our customers to share the impact. If this occurs, we will communicate with all customers openly and honestly; and our commitment is that we will never seek to pass on any increases that we have not taken ourselves.
Stock Cover: In Q4 2020, Banner Group Ltd invested in an additional £5m of stock to provide additional cover for possible Brexit transition issues. This paid dividends during the transition period, albeit inevitably we are seeing some impact as a result of the worldwide shortage of available freight, which is causing long delays in the supply of some lines.
Staff Shortages: Banner Group Ltd employs some EU citizens within its operations. We acted earlier this year to mitigate the risk of staff choosing to leave the UK after Brexit was confirmed and the majority of them now hold permanent positions. We did not see any outflow of staff in 2021.
Banner Group Ltd is committed to communicating openly on all items related to Brexit as soon as they emerge. We will be honest and transparent with all information. We continue to work diligently on mitigating any impacts on service and/or pricing as much as possible.