For decades the move to overseas manufacturing was seen as inevitable, irreversible and possibly even desirable. The allure of cheaper foreign-made goods proved too strong and gradually caused manufacturers to shift their production abroad.
According to London Loves Business, the exodus had a devastating impact on British manufacturing, which declined from about 30% of national GDP in the late 1970s, to 14% before the recession in 2008. The figure stands at just north of 11% today. But as hypnotising as overseas manufacturing once was, there are growing signs that the trend has started to reverse.
The Made in Britain brand may be heading for a genuine revival as more UK companies choose to swap their international suppliers for UK-based ones and move more of their operations back to the UK. Last week’s manufacturing figures – which saw orders and output rise at their fastest pace in nearly 20 years – were just the latest indicator of this shift, a trend led by the blossoming SME community.
A survey by the Engineering Employers Federation (EEF) conducted this time last year found that 40% of British companies had brought at least some of their production back to UK shores. With SMEs accounting for 57% of all UK manufacturing, they were a critical component of the change.
What does this mean for JFC Engineering?
Despite smaller margins, many of our customers have chosen to repatriate production back to the UK, in part because the difference in costs between production in the UK and production in China has narrowed. It is now closer to 15%.
Aside from growing price competitiveness, repatriating production also helps companies to improve your quality controls and delivery times. Both changes can prove profitable as they reduce the need to replace faulty stock, and can boost demand.
We employ modern quality management systems and inventory control models, alongside a strong emphasis on training, to support our manufacturing capability. We are an ISO 9001 and 14001 accredited company.
Reduced Lead times
Manufacturing in Britain also reduces time lead time from production to market. JFC is strategically located in the United Kingdom, close to major transport links and on the fringes of High Wycombe, Britain’s traditional contract furniture manufacturing centre.
For more information on our capabilities and markets, please contact
T 01494 447 881
F 01494 436 356