Manufacturing and Supply Chain Exhibition: A Recap

Looking back at the 2023 event
Hannah and Charlie at Manufacturing and Supply Chain Ireland

Last week, Customs Support Ireland exhibited at the Manufacturing and Supply Chain Exhibition in Dublin and what a great few days we had! The two-day event bought together industry experts, unique networking opportunities and even a Tic-tac delivery robot! Some of our colleagues who attended the event are here to tell you all about it.

The atmosphere was charged with curiosity and a hunger for discovery as attendees eagerly explored the displays, interacted with experts, and marvelled at the possibilities that both the manufacturing and supply chain industries had to offer. Roisin Cussen, Operations Manager at Customs Support Ireland, described the event as an excellent opportunity to network with buyers and suppliers in the manufacturing and supply chain sector which is so constantly evolving to adapt to economic and technological trends.

The manufacturing industry is responding to record demands coming out of pandemic restrictions and, with that, is facing many challenges across the supply chain. The pandemic, however, was not the only hot topic of conversation among exhibition speakers. The overarching theme for most was sustainability.

Charlie Dawson Dublin
Roisin in Dublin

The Brexit transition has been a challenge for many with uncertainty around customs requirements, particularly in and out of the UK. This coupled with severe lengthening in suppliers’ delivery times means the importance of having a reliable customs clearance partner is a tangible realisation.

The Supply Eco-System

The event hosted a wide range of industry-leading experts across the two days, and we caught up with a few speakers who focused on the development of the supply chain industry.

Paddy Bar, who is the Managing Partner at Barr Performance Coaching, discussed ‘Implementing a Sustainable Manufacturing & Strategic Sourcing Strategy’. He referred always to it being a Supply Eco-System, not a chain. This is a very refreshing way of approaching the industry, as the supply chain and its components, like customs, can no longer be left as an afterthought. Paddy shared that:

“We should be focused on making sustainability a core driver for a business’s competitive advantage.”

Having a focus on these areas right at the start of your manufacturing process can increase your competitive edge, whilst making sure that all sustainable options throughout your ‘Supply Eco-System’ have been considered. Sourcing a sustainable material is a great start, but if you are then going to dismiss the environmental impact of transporting those goods, your supply chain will never match up to your business’s ESG (Environmental, social, and corporate governance) principles.

A Focus on the Future of Supply Chain Solutions

Another speaker at the event who caught our attention wasPatrick Daly,an expert on international supply chain and logistics.  Hespoke on the four great trends that are currently transforming our industry.

Digitisation of the Economy

With the rapid advancements in technology, businesses are harnessing automation and integration to streamline their operations, drive efficiency, and enhance their sustainable measures. As the digitisation wave sweeps through various sectors, companies that embrace automation and integration are poised to gain a competitive edge in the dynamic and fast-paced digital economy.

At Customs Support, we are known as a leading provider of digital customs solutions. This means, in an accuracy-sensitive industry like ours, having the numbers, descriptions, and other information automatically obtained from documents and then fed to our system reduces the chance of error, increases time efficiency (no more searching for the file and waiting for the printer) and of course dramatically reduces your paper usage.

Geopolitical Fragmentation

Conflicts and tensions between nations have far-reaching implications for the global economy and supply chains. The geopolitical landscape is marked by shifting alliances, trade disputes, and regional conflicts, causing disruptions and uncertainties for businesses operating on a global scale. One change that Patrick spoke about was the topic of ‘Re-shoring’. Re-shoring involves bringing production and manufacturing processes back to domestic or nearby markets to reduce dependence on geopolitically unstable regions. This shift allows businesses to mitigate risks associated with geopolitical tensions, ensuring a more secure and reliable supply chain.


Referring back to what Paddy discussed earlier, making sustainability a core driver is a crucial step towards a greener future. In Ireland, where only 1% of freight currently moves by rail, there is a significant opportunity to leverage the benefits of rail transport and alleviate the strain on road networks. Additionally, moving freight to rail can alleviate congestion on highways, reducing traffic congestion and improving road safety.

Hannah and Charlie at Manufacturing and Supply Chain Ireland
Hannah Charlie and Roisin Dublin
Clients in Dublin

Making Customs Easy

The event facilitated an environment to discuss all of these topics in person with existing and indeed potential clients of Customs Support and to give them a better understanding of how our European network can be of benefit to their growth into the future.

We thoroughly enjoyed the event which had a very positive attendance in terms of exhibitors and attendees. The rapid pace of technological advances in areas such as artificial intelligence, machine learning and robotics was very evident at the show this year and we were delighted to share our own progress in this regard. Customs clearance is a data/ document heavy process and Customs Support prides itself on being the leaders in innovation and digitization, using advanced IT-tools for customs declaration and data exchange to keep up with this rapidly evolving revolution.” Charlie Dawson, Business Development Manager at Customs Support Ireland.

What’s Next?

Moving forward, our wonderful team in Waterford will be working hard to reach out to our newest connections that we met at the event, whilst our UK team prepare for our next stop at the Manufacturing and Engineering Week in Birmingham! We had an amazing time in Dublin last week, and if you joined us, we hope you did too!