Handyhardware.ie, part of Irish company Onlinetradesmen.ie, sells over 50,000 tools and hardware products online.
It imports daily shipments of pallets from the UK, and the products are distributed across the country and therefore Brexit is going to have a material impact on the business.
"Around eight months ago, we realised that Brexit wasn't going away," said Ted Laverty, CEO of Onlinetradesmen.ie. The company then took action to get Brexit ready.
"We had a look at the product profiles. We saw that out of the 50,000 products, 20,000 accounted for 80% of our business. It is still a very big number to be bringing across from the UK.
"All that we could do was try to faciliate local stock and local storage for it. We have trimmed down our product offering, and we have local storage for the 20,000 products," he said
Having addressed issues in the supply chain, the business will be able to continue to ship products for next day delivery.
Businesses are advised to take three steps to prepare for Brexit:
- Apply for the customs number
- Examine your supply chain
- Protect your cashflow by contacting your financial provider
The company availed of the SBCI Brexit Loan Scheme, which was designed to provide funding support to enable eligible businesses to implement necessary changes to prepare for Brexit. Mr Laverty said the process was straightforward.
"We went on to the SBCI website, filled out a questionnaire that assessed whether you were eligible for the loan funding. At that point you get an eligibility number, and you take that to your bank. In our case, we went to AIB, and they were superb. They assessed it like any other loan. They turned it around very quickly and released the funds."
Handyhardware.ie will continue to trade with the UK, so Mr Laverty applied to Revenue for the customs number called the EORI number. Again, the process was straightforward.
"We did it two weeks ago, we are still waiting for the number but I am assured that we are going to get it in good time.
"That allows us to import the goods that we don't have stocked locally from the UK, and hopefully there won't be too many checks and delays at the border," he added.