The Impact of Brexit on UK Supply Chains: A Primer

acumen7 member Mike Branigan, who is also the Senior Operating Partner for DBAY Advisers and NED for Eddie Stobart, gave a detailed overview of the impact of Brexit on UK supply chains, covering the effects of the collision of Brexit and Covid-19, an overview of the Brexit challenges, and the key factors for importing, exporting and haulage/freight forwarding organisations. The detailed presentation also explored post-Brexit critical success factors and the current impact on inventory management dynamics. For more information on DBAY Advisors, visit: For more information on Eddie Stobart, visit:


Probably the greatest military unit you’ve never heard of…

At acumen7’s virtual Christmas cocktail party, the guest speaker Colonel Gary Sullivan OBE gave an informative overview of The Staff Corps, which is a part of the Royal Engineers in the British Army Reserve. The Staff Corps is intended to provide advisers on engineering and logistics to the British Army at a senior level. Following its work creating the NHS Nightingale Hospitals the Corps was described as ‘probably the greatest military unit you’ve never heard of. Established in 1865, the current officers are mainly chief executives, directors and senior managers of 60 different engineering, transport and logistics organisations, which together employ 100,000 people. As well as explaining the background to The Staff Corps, Gary also gave overview of operations it has been involved with including the NHS Nightingale Hospitals, the forthcoming mass vaccination programme, the Beirut Port recovery and Whaley Bridge.

Building the NHS Nightingale Hospital in nine days

acumen7 member Gary Sullivan is also the Commanding Officer at The Staff Corps 77th Brigade and Chairman of Wilson James. Gary specialises in Construction Logistics, Security, Supply Chain Development and Regeneration, and has over 30 years’ experience in the planning and operation of the logistics of complex critical infrastructure projects. In addition, Gary has served in the British Army and worked for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. Gary helped to develop Wilson James from a standing start and they currently have 5,000 employees. Gary gave a confidential presentation around the transformation of the ExCeL into the new NHS Nightingale Hospital, which happened in just nine days.

For more information on The Staff Corps 77th Brigade, visit:

For more information on Wilson James, visit:


Offsite construction – HTA’s experience

The first acumen7 meeting of 2020 was hosted at AECOM’s London offices. acumen7 member and new employee at AECOM Giles Price, invited Innovation Champion Ian Small to give some background on the host company. Ian explained that his role is to help people to deliver projects in new and innovative ways. There are currently 87,000 employees at AECOM, so if someone asks Ian what AECOM does, his reply is: “Everything!”

This was followed by a presentation from Alex Hughes, Director of DfMA for HTA Design. Alex explained that at the end of last year, HTA celebrated its 50th birthday. They are currently around 200 people, so not quite the same logistical issues as AECOM. Their main service is as architects, but they have a full in-house service to complement this. This embeds them in all of the stages of the design process, from building client relationships to gathering post-project feedback. HTA mainly focuses on housing in its various forms. It’s as much to do with place making as about providing homes. They have won a lot of awards, most recently they have started picking up awards for their off-site manufacturing work.

For more information on AECOM, visit: AECOM

For more information on HTA, visit: HTA – We are housing people