Long before Brexit actually occurred QHS incorporated the potential pitfalls of Brexit within our Risk Register and Business Continuity Plan, as the uncertainty/risks to service delivery of Brexit mainly related to supply chain continuity and possible shortages of equipment, spares and parts.
In order to mitigate this risk, QHS developed a "Brexit Ready" strategy which involved lengthy meetings with our supply chain partners enabling us to gain a genuine understanding of how they each would be able to adapt if Brexit caused any new issues, in order to enable us to uphold our Service Level Agreements and bespoke arrangements, handle changing tariffs, taxes and exchange rates, as well as any costs related to contingency measures such as stockpiling. We also discussed our Business Continuity Plans with them, ensuring they considered all risks to service.
The importance of our robust procedures has been demonstrated since Brexit as well as throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, as QHS secured exclusive access arrangements to reserved stock in branches that were closed for general trading. At the outset of the COVID-19 Pandemic we initially expected the closure of shops/suppliers and the potential stockpiling of materials which was mitigated through direct arrangements with suppliers, holding 6 months’ worth of reserved stock in advance for QHS, ensuring our service delivery was not interrupted. Since Brexit and the still ongoing knock-on effects of COVID-19 we have been able to maintain our KPI performance across all contracts, evidencing our ability to adapt to unexpected circumstances.