We can all safely say that COVID-19 was one issue that none of us saw coming nor prepare to deal with the full stop it threw towards trading. The world was already trying to get ahead, with figuring out trade relations, the pros, and cons, of post-Brexit trade practices.

Suffice to say uncertainty, seems to be the only constant result for both the issues at the moment.

One of the first things to address is the buyer-supplier relation, becoming more and more transactional. Most of them have been focusing on getting the job done, getting profits, which shows low communication and insufficiency to build relationships.

By involving suppliers, as a part of brand communication and partners in the whole process, you do not just see them as someone who delivers goods but build a long relationship that benefits financially and non-financially to both parties. Know who you are doing business with can be explained with this example:

"UK-based online fashion retailer Boohoo Group is cutting more than 400 companies from its supplier network following a critical report last year on labour practices at some of those businesses. Boohoo had prioritized profit and growth, and ignored ‘red flags’ about labour violations, but was cleared of any direct involvement."

Looking at this, one can simply see the holes that need to be filled in the supply chain starting with transparency. This requires a complete overhaul of the supply chain by the UK retailers and an opportunity for exporters like Bangladesh and India to enter the said supply chain.

This can be achieved by following these 5 steps:

1) Improved Supply chain- Smaller batches, more transparency, and efficient processes assisted by analytics and digital technologies will become the norm; demand-driven manufacturing will become more common

2) Sustainability- By achieving closer partnerships one will be achieving sustainability on much smoother terms

3) Rebalancing supply chain- It is unrealistic to expect whole supply chains to be moved to the EU, UK. While rebuilding the supply chain one also must think about all the different costs that would entail with it

4) Going digital- Exploring different routes of doing business, that will help cut back on additional costs, and procedures

5) Standardising the process and bringing trust back to the relationship.

The EU market covers 28(-1) countries with 500 million potential customers. For E-commerce, this would mean that goods from the UK to the EU market won't be sold internally but by a third country to the EU. Thus, the customs charges may apply, making EU trade more expensive for UK retailers.

Though new opportunities await as we mentioned earlier- one of the brand examples on letting go of their supplier networks- “From the viewpoint of the Bribery Act, human rights obligations, and future trade restrictions, suppliers are presented with new enforcement challenges. With all of this going on would you want to negotiate favourable business terms? Have you ensured that transportation costs won't be too high if commodities are going further afield?” Among many other trade obligations?

Keeping all these scenarios in mind, and more, a B2B online marketplace as a trading route amidst all the Post Brexit and COVID-19 uncertainty will help gain an upper hand against the competitors.

With ready to sell attitude, and buying-supplying relations set up with pre-verified parties across the globe, Fibre2Fashion’s F2FMART can get B2B businesses to the point of certainty.  

Going digital and doing business across the globe has never been easier. With simple steps to follow. F2FMart pairs industry expertise with innovative marketing solutions to provide businesses with actionable insights and bolster growth.

Reference -

  1. https://www.fibre2fashion.com/news/e-commerce-fashion-industry/boohoo-cuts-uk-suppliers-as-part-of-clean-up-efforts-273262-newsdetails.htm
  2. https://www.bakermckenzie.com/-/media/files/insight/publications/brexit_tradeflows.pdf

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