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TONY HAGUE

RE-SHORING SUPPLY CHAINS - A NEW OPPORTUNITY ?

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TONY HAGUE

We all accept supply chains are complex , with many variables and considerations that need to be made, but do you sense a an increasing sentiment of "Buy British?"

UK companies have at times been criticised for simply "sourcing from the lowest bidder" , often leading to off-shoring to LCGs in Eastern Europe or Asia. Perhaps these criticisms have been fair at times, perhaps not - its a case by case basis - I would certainly not look to pass judgement. 

However from a point of view of risk mitigation on the back of COVID19 and the pending BREXIT "execution" - there appears to be a definite move towards looking at re-shoring opportunities and supply chains that are closer to home - if this continues and indeed materialises , it can only be good for economic recovery, GDP growth and addressing our poor balance of trade. We bemoan the fact that UK productivity has never recovered following the 2008/9 recession - with the right investment - we have an opportunity to address.

The point of the "right" investment is key hear. We all accept that the UK ( in general ) has been slow to adopt automation & robotics in manufacturing - particularly at an SME level. We all have our views on why this is the case ( they are multiple and varied ) , but putting emotion and sentiment aside - IF we can address this and create a fit, agile and competitive UK supply chain that can get a larger slice of "the pie" that is currently enjoyed by sub contract manufacturers across the globe - would anyone argue this is anything other than highly positive and building a sustainable , World leading, manufacturing based economy that will generate wealth for generations to come ?

Has there has ever been a better time ( post War ) for UK Manufacturers to collaborate and work together for the great good that is the "UK Economy" and as such invest in each other for the longer term, perhaps at the expense of short term margins?

Welcome your views and if your share similar sentiments

 

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Nick Hussey

Hi @TONY HAGUE 

Some very timely and pertinent points. There is no doubt Covid has caused huge disruption and generated the opportunity to re-think all aspects of manufacturing and the manufacturing process, from supply chains to distribution, sales, aftermarket, redundancy and sustainability. All OEM's and Tiers 1's must be looking at the resilience or lack thereof within their supply chains and the opportunity for smaller manufacturers within the UK is huge. We simply must grasp this opportunity to rebuild our manufacturing base and capability. Automation and robotics are key from a competitive stand point and a resilience one. We are still the 6th largest economy in the world, we have a public shift in perception that is akin to the food miles narrative - we must capitalise on this now.

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