Brexit Business Impact: How to Future-proof your Trade
Major uncertainty has hit the United Kingdom since the 2016 Brexit referendum. This is despite few real changes in legal status, regulation, or tariffs so far. In the past two years, UK and EU citizens followed the development of the withdrawal agreement. This agreement will determine what comes next for both parties. But things are coming to a head this year. The UK will leave the EU on March 29 regardless of a deal with the EU. Developments are taking a toll on the UK’s economy. There is now rising inflation and less investor confidence. What can businesses across the UK do to survive Brexit?
1. Study the state of your industry
“A disorderly Brexit has the potential of leading the UK into a recession, which could have significant disruption to finance and economic growth.” That’s according to Business Economics professor Francesco Moscone at the Brunel University London. But no one is sure how exactly it will impact businesses. There is a lack of preparation among owners and managers. Stay ahead of the curve by assessing your industry. Below are some common industries in the UK and potential impacts as outlined by experts.
The weaker pound has affected the hospitality industry in two ways. On one hand, costs increased have for imported goods. This has eroded the profits of business owners. On the other, it has encouraged more tourism from both local and overseas visitors. This has also resulted in a greater demand for accommodation. Besides this, the hospitality workforce is being significantly affected. Eduard Elias, co-founder of Cycas Hospitality, said that many foreign workers are leaving the UK or choosing not to come in the first place. Hospitality businesses need to prepare for rising costs in both goods procurement and operating expenses, such as hiring and retention.
Research from accountancy firm Moore Stephens has shown that 20% of the UK’s restaurants are at risk of closure because of Brexit. This is due to several factors. One is the predicted food shortage due to import price increases. Only 49% of the food consumed in the UK is produced here. 30% comes directly from the EU. Notably, when it comes to fruit and vegetables, 40% of fresh produce comes from the EU. Workforce supply is also a major issue: 75% of waiters and 25% of chefs in the UK are EU nationals, according to CEO of the British Hospitality Association (BHA), Ufi Ibrahim. Overall, Brexit could most heavily affect the restaurant industry.
Like in hospitality, post-Brexit labour supply is going to be a major concern in the healthcare industry. According to the NHS data, 10% of NHS doctors, 16% of NHS midwives, and 5% of NHS nurses come from elsewhere in the EU. In an already challenging recruitment environment, UK businesses will need to prepare for a shortfall in medical health professionals. There are also concerns about post-Brexit healthcare regulations and qualifications, as the UK may no longer be required to align with EU rules and frameworks. It is thus not surprising that according to data and analytics company, GlobalData, 59% of healthcare industry professionals now view Brexit negatively.
2. Audit your supply chains and EU contracts
Brexit can disrupt the operations of any UK business if an EU supplier cannot cope with changes. Unprepared EU suppliers could be unwilling to continue cross-border transactions. According to the Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply (CIPS), 40% of UK companies are already seeking domestic suppliers. This will save costs on customs and other import fees. Further, 25% of UK businesses with 250+ employees have spent over £100,000 preparing their supply chains for Brexit. It is thus important for every business owner to trace their supply chain. Assess whether it is worth maintaining these transactions early on.
All EU contracts also need to be revisited, as not all of them include legal provisions for importing and exporting that define who is responsible for shipping goods across borders. These provisions, known as incoterms, determine risk and affect VAT. Current contracts may lack the details for a new customs border between the UK and the EU. If the business is large, there will be more contracts to assess. There may be a transition period in the withdrawal agreement that will give you some time to prepare. However, you have a higher chance of surviving Brexit if you do this early on.
3. Invest in the right technology
By March 29, Brexit will affect everyone in the UK across the board. For businesses, it will have an impact especially on labour supply and finance. The legal changes will come fast, and may prove overwhelming for some. Investing in the right technology months ahead of Brexit will determine the future of the business. From rotas, to onboarding, to payroll, the right workforce technology platform can ease the transition by outsourcing the nitty gritty to a reliable service provider. Tanda, for example, manages many aspects of day-to-day operations that will be affected by Brexit.
Managing rotas will prove to be challenging post-Brexit, what with the predicted shortfall in staff. But Tanda’s rota software allows you to build rotas to match customer demand, see staff availability as you go, and set targets and rota costs to make sure you never go over budget. The customisable onboarding feature that comes with the package lets you collect information about UK and EU employees, and makes sure you never lose that information. Finally, Tanda’s labour compliance makes sure you never breach the new labour laws.
Preparing your business for Brexit is going to take some hard and fast decisions. There is no doubt that Brexit’s implementation will affect many aspects of the economy. Brexit may hit some industries harder than others, among them hospitality, restaurants, and healthcare. Stay ahead of the curve by studying the implications for your industry, auditing supply chains and EU contracts, and investing in the right technology. Whatever the outcome of the negotiations and the terms of the withdrawal agreement, businesses need to begin preparing today if they hope to become Brexit-proof.
Rota & Compliance UK |
Why Fingerprint Scanners Don’t Work for Time and Attendance
The ability to quickly identify and verify individuals has been a crucial skill in human society, since the start of civilisation. Where previously face-to-face recognition would have sufficed in tribes and small villages, thanks to today’s rapidly growing global population we require more tools to quickly identify who someone is. In the workplace, the need to identify individuals is particularly important, as it’s often tied to staff attendance, payroll, and workplace security. Throughout the years various solutions have been used to verify staff attendance from paper time sheets, to the Bundy Clock, to fingerprint and biometric scanners. Despite the best efforts of some die-hard fans, the fingerprint scanner has reached its limit, being surpassed by the electronic time clock. With so many other solutions available at our fingertips, why are some people so desperately clinging to their fingerprint scanner? Surely we’ve all seen enough spy movies to know fingerprint scanners aren’t foolproof, let alone feasible in today’s day and age where most of the fun comes from trying to fool the system. And yet, it’s something that we still occasionally hear, “why don’t you have fingerprint scanners?” So to put the debate to rest once and for all, here are three reasons why fingerprint scanners don’t work. And before you start saying, ‘but what about this…” here are three great reasons why the electronic time clock has surpassed the fingerprint scanner. 3 Reasons why fingerprint scanners don’t work to track staff attendance 1. They’re Expensive No matter which way you look at it, fingerprint scanners are expensive equipment. Despite the fact that the technology has been around for years, the cost of the device still remains relatively high, potentially setting you back a few thousand dollars. In addition to the device, the cost of the integration between the scanner and corresponding system can be expensive to build. The scanners are delicate and aren’t always built to handle the hundreds of fingerprints pressed onto them throughout their lifetime. Which brings me to my next point… 2. They’re Unreliable Unlike your favourite FBI crime-show encryption-grade biometric scanners, workplace fingerprint scanners are notoriously unreliable. In order to correctly identify and record an individual, fingerprint scanners require a clear image or impression of your fingerprint. Fingers that are dirty, greasy, cold or wet for example, often don’t register on the scanner, making it hard to both clock out and verify the individual. Employers who prefer to use fingerprint scanners, do so because they think it’s easier than remembering a passcode. However should the fingerprint scanner fail to register the scan, some systems will request a passcode. Not only is this an additional hassle to staff who are trying simply to clock in or out, but it also opens the window to time theft through buddy clocking. 3. Maintenance is a pain As previously mentioned, fingerprint scanners are not cheap. They’re a costly purchase and are even more expensive to repair or replace when they wear out. Repairing a broken scanner requires a specialised technician and often costly parts. On the occasion that it is easier to replace than repair, users often run into more problems as they are not readily available at your local JB Hi-Fi or electronics outlet. On top of this, users often experience issues around the device’s durability, which lead to additional maintenance costs and ultimately a new device down the track. Introducing the 21st Century solution Electronic time clocks are the most robust, user-friendly, and affordable solution to record staff attendance. According to Statista, 38.59 million British people are expected to own a tablet device this 2017. Leveraging this statistic, a tablet-based time clock like Tanda can provide an effective and consistent solution to time theft, streamlining your entire payroll process. 3 Reasons why electronic time clocks are the market leading solution: 1. Affordability Tablets in their various forms have started to become more commonplace in businesses of all sizes. This is thanks to more core business functions such as POS, inventory, and payment processing, becoming available on tablet devices. This technology is providing business owners with greater mobility to engage with customers, as well as streamlining core business activities in one device. Time Clock tablets are easily accessible, affordable and present a number of additional benefits to a business looking to improve their customer offering. 2. Robust and reliable. Thanks to the prevalence of tablet usage, most people are familiar with how to use a tablet and how they should be treated. Tablets are touch-screen based and as such built to handle lots of little fingers pushing and tapping the screen. Tanda’s Time Clock verifies staff attendance through photos and PIN code verification. Which means that unlike a fingerprint scanner, it doesn’t matter if staff have dirty or wet fingers, they’ll still be able to clock out the first time around. The timestamp and photo verification also make it quick and easy for managers and business owners to quickly check that the right person has clocked in and out for the correct shift. 3. Cloud-based for more options Using a cloud-based Time Clock solution like Tanda provides users with more options, which enable rather than restrict the user. Software maintenance and upgrades are not required, as they’re done automatically in the system. Devices are easy to replace and interchangeable, and should the system connection be disrupted, all clock in data is stored locally and uploaded to the cloud later. In addition to this, as a backup, users can access the Time Clock app through a browser on a desktop. Using a cloud solution to track staff attendance provides unparalleled opportunities to streamline additional business administration tasks, as well as providing greater insight into labour costs, staff punctuality and staff engagement. Workplaces are busy places, and managers have much better things to spend their time on than trying to get the fingerprint scanner to work. Using electronic Time Clocks to track employee attendance allows staff to clock in quickly and efficiently, so that they can get out of the backroom and working in your business. Because at the end of the day, you need a system that is affordable, reliable, and accessible, so that you can get on with paying staff and focusing on your business.
Rota & Compliance UK |
3 Reasons to Get Your Rota Right
You might think that having errors with the rota will only lead to minor inconveniences in employee attendance and pay. But in fact, not getting the rota right has huge consequences for the entire business. Examples of poor rota management practices are: Sending rotas to employees at the very last minute Sudden changes to the rotas Over and understaffing Erratic or unpredictable shift patterns Committing these mistakes can have the following effects on your business: Low Employee Morale Poor rota management can impact on your staff’s overall well-being. Last-minute rotas (added by sudden changes) mean that employees have to scramble in finding someone to take care of their kids, cancelling plans, or not being able to come at all (costing them a paycheck.) This leads to low employee morale, which can lead to good talent leaving your company. Increased Stress for Managers and Business Owners The burden of poor rota management on employees will carry over to managers and business owners. More people can come in late (or not come in at all.) This means looking for people to cover or do double duty on short notice. Worst comes to worst, you’ll have to cover the gap. This takes time off your own tasks, which causes you to work extra hours. Lost Revenue and Reputation In the end, poor rota management affects the bottom line. Overstaffing means that you pay too much labour cost on a given shift. Understaffing leads to your business not getting enough sales because there are not enough people to handle customer demand. The latter adds more damage to your business as it not only means losing revenue but also earning a bad reputation with your customer base. How to Avoid Problems with Your Rota Those common rota management mistakes can be avoided. It all starts with managers and owners constantly communicating with staff, asking for their thoughts with regards to the rota. You should also switch from time-consuming methods such as using pen and paper or Excel spreadsheets to using rota software. When looking for the right rota management software for your business, look for one that lets you create the weekly rota in minutes. Choose one with a predictive workforce feature, which uses data from your point of sale (POS) and other sources to determine how many people should be staffed on any shift. Finally, make sure that the software you choose lets you instantly send the upcoming week’s rota to employees via SMS and email. This lets you inform staff earlier of their shifts, allowing them to plan ahead as well.
Product Updates |
Free UK Pro Rata Holiday Leave Calculator Now Available
Are you finding it difficult to figure out how much holiday leave each of your employees have left this year? Is it taking a long time to process holiday leave requests and finding out how much leave days can be carried over to the next year? These can all be a thing of the past starting today with our FREE pro rata holiday leave calculator. With it, UK businesses can take the stresses out of manually calculating and documenting how much paid holiday leave an employee has left. With this free Tanda resource you can: Have a paperless leave management system in place Automatically find out exactly each employee’s leave entitlement based on their start date, their number of workdays in a week, and whether they are employed full time or part-time Easily track how much leave time each employee has left in a year You can download our calculator either as an Excel or a Google spreadsheet. Using the latter lets you also store everybody’s leave information on the cloud, as well as easily share it with the rest of your management team. Download our Free Pro Rata Holiday Leave Calculator Get Better Leave Management with Tanda We know that you’ll love using our free calculator. But you can do so much more when you use Tanda’s complete leave management software. With Tanda you can: File and approve leave requests using mobile or desktop devices Receive real-time notifications whenever an employee files a leave request Get alerts whenever a leave request clashes with a shift View leave balances while deciding the leave request Let employees attach documentation with leave requests Sync leave with Google Calendar or iCal Export approved leave requests directly to your payroll software What’s more, Tanda can also handle your business’ time and attendance, rota management, and wage calculation needs. You can easily upgrade from our free calculator to Tanda. We’ve designed the calculator so that you can easily import the information straight to Tanda — you’ll never miss a beat. Start using Tanda with a free trial today.