Our top 5 reasons why British companies should consider manufacturing in the UK
Our top 5 reasons why British companies should consider
manufacturing in the UK.
There have been countless articles full of doom and gloom in the media recently regarding the fate of British businesses and the economy in the wake of Brexit and the ongoing pandemic, with disrupted supply chains and border delays getting a lot of press coverage. As this angle has been covered extensively (and because we prefer to spread positivity) in this article we have decided to focus instead on the reasons why we still have hope for the future of manufacturing in the UK.
Many companies have been relocating or “reshoring” production back to the UK in recent years, and there has been a noticeable increase in the popularity of UK-based suppliers. In addition to this, companies such as Ikea and Asos are increasing the number of products which are manufactured in Britain. It is unrealistic to expect that the UK will become a major manufacturing hub for international businesses, but we can certainly hope for an increase in the number of companies who are considering bringing production here. In this post, we run through some of the main reasons why it may be worthwhile making the move!
The power of the “made in Britain” image:
Products which are made in this country have a reputation for being of a higher quality than those made further afield and this image is a valuable commodity. Goods made more cheaply in the Far East often have a reputation for being of inferior quality, and though that is not necessarily true, having production based closer to home means that companies have more direct control over the quality of the goods they are manufacturing. Many customers within the UK market also prefer to purchase goods from British suppliers, even if the cost is higher, because they are keen to support British manufacturing and feel that they will receive better customer service, traceability, and reliability in return.
Increased control over the supply chain and intellectual property:
The global pandemic and the disruption to trade following Brexit have both highlighted weaknesses in the supply chain for those selling to the UK market from factories abroad. Even when this difficult transition period comes to an end, pragmatic companies would do well to manufacture at least some of their goods within the UK whilst maintaining a presence in Europe. Many British businesses have taken significant financial blows recently due to factors outside of their control and moving production closer to home allows them to simplify logistics, cut lead times, and be far more resilient during unprecedented times. Reducing the risk of delays thanks to border closures, international travel restrictions, and even extreme weather conditions can only be a positive thing! It’s also important to consider that keeping production closer to home gives a business more control over their intellectual property. When companies are directly involved with the manufacture of their products it reduces the chances that cheaply made imitations will emerge on the international market without their consent or knowledge.
Many companies initially began manufacturing abroad, particularly in the Far East, to make products as cheaply as possible. With the costs of importing goods from China rising and UK manufacturing becoming a more competitive option, things may be about to change. Salaries and benefits have also improved significantly for Chinese factory workers in recent years, which means that companies can no longer assume that they can take advantage of cheap labour overseas. When exchange rate fluctuations, import fees, taxes, transport costs and trade restrictions are taken into consideration, manufacturing in the UK becomes a much more economical option than once thought.
The costs of transporting goods from factories in the Far East for sale on the UK market are not just increasing from a financial standpoint. The world is becoming progressively more aware of the consequences of global warming, and companies in turn are now being held responsible for their carbon footprints. As well as factoring in the obvious emissions produced by long-distance lorries, air freight, and cargo ships transporting products to the UK, businesses are being made accountable for direct pollution of the local area caused by factories in areas with less strict environmental laws. British companies manufacturing within the UK have increased accountability and greater control over their production process, as well as reduced factory-to-consumer carbon emissions. While being better for the planet, businesses that follow environmentally friendly practices appeal to customers who are making a conscious effort to reduce their own carbon footprints. Eco-credentials are a big selling point in today’s world!
Supporting the economy with jobs and sustainable growth:
With the UK economy suffering from the impact of the pandemic and Brexit, British manufacturing can offer a vital lifeline. The recent signs of a rebirth in production across a range of industries has the potential to drive significant economic growth and create much-needed jobs for British residents. Manufacturing overseas has been common practice for so long that it can be difficult to find workers with the necessary skills, but fortunately the government is actively supporting training programs to help people move into new careers. With new technological advancements and automation (more on this in next week’s blog!) comes jobs which are more interesting and fulfilling than traditional repetitive production line work. If more British companies are prepared to invest in equipment and people, we will be on our way to building a new generation of manufacturers within the UK.
So there you have it, our top 5 reasons why manufacturing within the UK may be a smart move for many companies, despite what we’re all hearing in the media! There are still of course many benefits to manufacturing goods abroad, but we can hope that Britain will be a part of the move to make production greener and more ethical on a global scale.
Next week’s blog post will discuss the ways in which new technology and automation (including industrial sewing machines!) can help to make manufacturing in Britain a viable option for companies looking to reshore.
For more information about tailored automation solutions for your company in the meantime please just contact us via firstname.lastname@example.org . We have a vast amount of experience with creating bespoke solutions across various industries from apparel to automotive!