Pan-European distributor Nuvias has stockpiled three months' worth of hardware and has set up two separate supply chains, in the UK and continental Europe, ahead of the UK's impending exit from the EU.
Its CMO Hanspeter Eiselt told CPI that its two-hub logistics system was set up "because no-one really knows what will happen in terms of delays".
"Inventory will rule at the end of the day," he said.
"We've realised over the last 18 months that we would need to cover logistical disruption so we've invested in a dual system. The last six months especially has been very speculative…We didn't want our stock stuck in Calais or Dover in traffic jams."
"It has been necessary to have more sophistication in terms of demand planning, but we anticipated this early on."
Nuvias has one hub in the UK, and a second in Venlo, Holland, close to the German border.
Eiselt said that Nuvias' stockpile of approximately "two to three months' worth" of hardware reserves are stored in both centres.
"Juniper for example is one of our key suppliers, and we've been working hand in hand with their supply chain team to find out what their replenishment ability is… We have the biggest stockpile of Juniper hardware in Europe with over £15m in inventory," he said.
"If something is custom built that is obviously on a back-to-back basis, so that is where we're relying on the vendors such as WatchGuard and Juniper.
"We are seeing in the wider industry that others are loss focusing more on their provisioning. However, we started planning for this early, so we were at the front of the queue with our suppliers."
He added that Nuvias is also prepared to support UK partners with European customers that are not equipped with distribution centres outside the UK.
US competitor Scansource recently opened a new centre in Southampton. However, Eieselt claimed that he's not anticipating a significant change to the VAD's competitive landscape in the UK.
"I think it's expected that, with the UK being one of the largest IT markets in Europe, firms have to have a presence here if they want to be a reputable solutions provider. It's part of the usual trend for companies to need to have a footprint in the UK," he said.
"We're in very good shape with our vendors because we started to assess the risks early on."
In terms of what Nuvias' best-case scenario is, Eiselt said:
"We want the UK to continue to have a free-trading agreement with the EU with the minimal amount of disruption for our customers, in terms of tariffs or physical obstacles for our supply chain.
"In a way I sort of wish that it would be a recurrence of Y2K, which was talked about upfront a lot, but then wasn't as pessimistic in reality.
"It would be great if the entire IT industry could instead focus on the end of the fiscal year in the UK instead."
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