Navigating economic processes during periods of instability is a significant challenge for many businesses. The current war in Ukraine is one of the most pressing issues of our time. Its impact has seeped into all facets of UK society, including how businesses and policymakers can succeed and maintain a stable, sustainable supply chain.
There are several dimensions to the war in Ukraine to consider when exploring issues faced within the UK public sector. This article will explain how the war in Ukraine has impacted the UK government and supply chains and the procurement opportunities for UK businesses in response.
From human rights issues to procurement trends and advice to maintaining your supply chain, this article has what you need to explore and prosper in the modern business environment.
The Global Economy Before the War in Ukraine
International conflicts significantly influence the success of the global supply chain. But how has the war in Ukraine specifically impacted the supply chain for UK businesses?
Before Russia invaded Ukraine, much of the world had economic ties to the nations; as the war began, sanctions restricted Russia’s trade ability. Since an estimated 600,000 organisations rely on Russia and Ukraine as global suppliers, multiple industries have been impacted by the war.
Additionally, the conflict in Ukraine has led to a railway between Europe and Asia shutting down, limiting the ability to transfer goods like cars and car parts through the supply chain. Numerous projects have been stalled to accommodate these changes, and given the need to develop alternative routes, time delays have become increasingly frequent in the global supply chain. As more countries seek alternatives to Russian goods like oil and gas, the supply chain faces various setbacks and obstacles.
Key Issues Within the War in Ukraine
The war in Ukraine has led to numerous economic, political, and social issues for Ukrainians and the global economy. Below are a few of the core struggles occurring as a result of the Russian invasion of Ukraine:
- Violations and war crimes against Ukrainian civilians from Russian soldiers not complying with international human rights standards. These violations include inhumane violence toward civilians and the deportation of children.
- Detrimental attacks on Ukrainian civilian infrastructure in highly populated areas
- Attacks with dangerous explosive weapons in civilian areas
- The unlawful confinement of Ukrainians
- A lack of energy resources for Ukrainian citizens, leaving millions without access to power
- Poor economic resources for Ukrainians to sustain themselves or for the global supply chain to operate as usual
How the War in Ukraine Impacts the UK Economy
The UK previously relied on Russia and Ukraine for various goods and resources, meaning that UK businesses have had to make massive adjustments to sustain the supply chain. Businesses are finding it increasingly difficult to receive government contracts and to adapt to new tendering requests. Below are some ways that the war in Ukraine has affected businesses in the UK economy.
Higher Manufacturing Costs
UK manufacturers are paying significantly higher costs to produce goods than before the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Because the war has undermined any progress made previously, the UK has seen sharp increases in factory production costs while managing higher domestic demand, raw material shortages, and lingering global supply chain issues.
Sharp Increase in Inflation
The UK is among the nations whose inflation rate has been significantly influenced by the war in Ukraine. Compared to other big countries in Europe, the UK is struggling the most with inflation and is now seeing rates in the double digits.
The UK’s inflation rate amid the crisis in Ukraine has reached a 41-year high of 11.1 percent, caused by higher energy and food prices and exceeding the previous record of 11 percent inflation in 1982. Because of massive inflation costs, consumers struggle to afford the cost of living, and businesses struggle to convince consumers that their offerings are worthwhile.
Decrease in Consumer Confidence
Consumers are the backbone of any prosperous economy, and the UK has undoubtedly faced struggles in terms of consumer confidence amid the war in Ukraine. While consumer confidence in the UK reached its highest level before the war broke out in the past month, the progress is slow-moving, and businesses are naturally struggling to regain consumer trust.
The decline in consumer confidence specifically resulted from the significant jump in energy costs across Europe after Russia invaded Ukraine, plunging to record low points in 2022. Though back on the rise, it’ll likely take time until consumer confidence reaches a healthy, stable level.
How UK Businesses Can Navigate New Opportunities
Maintaining sustainable supply chains is difficult for UK businesses in the current business landscape. However, securing government contracts and appealing to the right buyers can keep your operation thriving in uncertain times.
Prioritising economic stability is a must for UK businesses. Consider the following opportunities to grow your reach even as the supply chain environment fluctuates.
Explore New Sources of Supply
Whether you’re interested in securing healthcare contracts or hoping to operate in another sector, there are plenty of opportunities to explore new supply sources during this time. Entrepreneurs and small businesses can consider making a new business model to meet modern consumer needs and seek suppliers that suit this goal.
Companies can consider alternative sourcing modes and stay up-to-date with modern trends. For buyers and suppliers alike, taking advantage of public sector tenders is crucial to prospering during this time.
But what is a tender? A tender is a contract opportunity where a public sector organisation purchases a notice seeking goods or services from suppliers. The tendering process begins with tendering notices, also known as contract notices. UK businesses and suppliers can find everything they need to secure government tenders with Supply2Gov.
Managing your supply chain during this time is easier when you have additional support. Now is a great time to focus on strengthening your partnerships and connections within your network. Collaborating through joint partnerships and trade coalitions can open new opportunities for your organisation.
Buyers should also consider diversifying their partnerships with suppliers to prevent supply chain disruptions when companies only rely on one supplier. By strengthening and forging relationships with multiple suppliers, you can feel more secure in your supply chain sustainability.
Show Your Commitment to What’s Right
Ethical and responsible procurement is vital in everything you do. Despite the difficulties presented by the war in Ukraine, organisation leaders should show their audiences what the company values and stands for.
Address ethical issues in your current supply chain by auditing your procurement process, and avoid entering partnerships with suppliers violating ethical standards. By standing up for human rights and maintaining an ethical and sustainable supply chain, you can continue reaching new audiences who want to buy sustainably or suppliers who provide high-quality, sustainable products.
Get Started With Supply2Gov
Navigating public sector tenders during economic uncertainty is simpler when you have a trustworthy source for all your procurement needs. Supply2Gov provides everything you should know about contract opportunities to operate your business ethically. Register today with Supply2Gov to learn how to navigate the shifting supply chain.