John Pickering, the new managing director of Miele UK, has said that suppliers would be “mad” not to have contingency plans that ensured supply wasn’t interrupted by a no-deal Brexit.
Pickering, who joined the company in July last year following the departure of Simon Grantham, confirmed in an interview with kbbreview that plans were in place to minimise any impact.
“Yes, we have contingency plans, and we’d be mad not to,” he said. “I’m very happy with our plans and the support of Miele [in Germany]. It’s high up on our agenda and we’re lucky to work for a company who – from the very top – want to support us through it. That’s really important, so while I’m not going to issue a personal guarantee, I’m reassured the plans are definitely in place.”
Many companies in the KBB industry have also confirmed they are stockpiling products ahead of the Brexit deadline.
Speaking to kbbreview in September last year, Miele’s executive director and co-proprietor Dr Reinhard Zinkann branded Brexit a “disaster that cuts off Britain from Europe” and had already hit Miele’s sales in the UK.
Pickering is less willing to draw a direct correlation. “I’m not going to say that Brexit is directly impacting our business, ” he said. “We can blame business uncertainty for many things, but we need to prepare while also making sure our focus is balanced on how we view the [wider] market.
“It’s not a one-way street and we need to work with our partners to understand what role they can play. We have a really efficient supply chain and, of course, the majority of our own in-house manufacturing, which gives us a real advantage in this situation.”
• Read the full interview with John Pickering in the March issue of kbbreview