Re-shoring manufacturing for the ‘Made in Britain’ rubber stamp…and much…much more
David Cameron announced last Monday that he wants the UK to be a ‘re-shore nation’, but what are the benefits of bringing your manufacturing home…
In his Davos speech last week David Cameron said that he saw a chance for the UK to become the “Re-Shore Nation” and pull jobs and economic activity “back home”.
Many factors are combining to make the UK a very attractive country to do business with. For instance, the campaign to cut red tape, has saved £1.2 billion (€1.45 billion). But also corporation tax will soon be as low as 20%, the lowest in the G7 and as low as 10% for companies that turn innovation into manufacturing.
These and other factors are persuading companies to move production and jobs back to the UK. Some high profile examples have included the food manufacturer, Symingtons moving its factory from China to Leeds, and Hornby the model train manufacturer bringing some of its manufacturing from India to Britain.
The slowing of China’s economy, the wage increase of over 20 per cent in the provinces, and lead times extending to 120 days are all factors contributing to this. This means the benefits of manufacturing in the UK now outweigh those of manufacturing in ‘cheap China’ – which isn’t quite so cheap anymore.
The benefits of making it in Britain
Moving production back to the UK doesn’t have to be a hassle, and even though a new supplier will have to set up the artwork, re-tool and re-proof the product, companies will have tighter controls on day-to-day aspects of business and the manufacture of their product, these include;
1. Development –
A product that is manufactured in the UK can be more closely controlled and reviewed; a high-quality prototype can be supplied at a quick turnaround, leaving plenty of time to make any necessary changes before going into full production.
2. Communication –
There are no language barriers when dealing with suppliers in the UK, so any confusion is cut out, and there is less risk of a product arriving not as specified. There’s also no excuse for poor quality, but if there is a problem, it’s possible to call or visit the manufacturer.
3. Lead-times –
Overseas lead times are often three times as long as in the UK. Also, if you have an urgent or last minute order, there’s more possibility of it being fulfilled - as some companies are willing to set up 24 hour production to ensure a deadline is met.
4. Transit –
The other benefit of sourcing product components in the UK is that they don’t have to be imported, so shipping timescales, delays, and rates don’t slow down the overall process or push prices up. Again, if products are needed urgently, it’s easy to arrange delivery to other parts of the country, and courier costs are much cheaper.
5. Relationships –
Re-shoring gives a company the opportunity to build a new and lasting relationship, with a supplier that can be trusted to provide a high quality service and product. At Fascia, we also have a regional sales force that regularly visits customers to discuss their requirements and assists them with the design of their overlays and membrane keypads – providing them with advice on the most up to date materials and inks and best possible cost solutions.
6. Technology –
British manufacturers have some of the most carbon efficient and technically advanced machinery, capable of producing high quality products. Some recent investments have not only benefitted Fascia by allowing us to edge closer to the £4million turnover landmark, but our customers too. We invested in a new digital printer, a Pick and Place machine, and the UK’s first servo-driven press within our industry. These investments have improved our efficiency, supported the environmental improvements we are continually making to the business, and have drastically increased our production capabilities. The new automated machinery has allowed us to cope with an increased throughput and to run with reduced overheads, whilst overall, improving our lean manufacturing – all of which saves our customers money, and ensures that they always receive a superior product to those which are manufactured domestically or overseas.
In conclusion, sourcing from within the UK strengthens our economy, creates job stability, and contributes to building the nation’s growth and prosperity. If more companies bring production back home, they’ll be able to supply a better product to market, at a fraction of the time – and we’ll be able to make Britain the workshop of the world again.
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