In March 2023, Make UK published a key report, ‘No Weak Links: Building Supply Chain Resilience’, which laid bare the soaring pressure on supply chains that is resulting in long lead times and rising prices. The severe disruption of the Covid-19 pandemic persuaded many manufacturing businesses that their supply chains needed to become more sustainable, resilient, and collaborative to protect themselves against global instability.
The great news is that many companies have turned to reshoring, a strategy that involves bringing back production and sourcing to the UK to overcome the challenges associated with offshore operations. Since 2008, 70 per cent of business surveyed have conducted some form of reshoring and an equal number would consider further reshoring in future (with most opting for direct reshoring back to the UK instead of indirect reshoring).
So, what are the advantages of reshoring as a supply chain strategy and how can it benefit manufacturing businesses currently importing?
Greater Stability At Times Of Upheaval
One of the key advantages of reshoring is the ability to circumvent economic and political uncertainties that can arise from offshore operations. By having suppliers located in the UK, businesses can minimise the risks associated with global conflicts or economic crises, such as the conflict in Ukraine which had a profound impact on the economy, disrupted supply chains, and caused significant delays to some commodities. Reshoring enables companies to mitigate such risks and maintain a more stable and reliable supply chain.
Improved Communication And Efficiency
Reshoring brings suppliers closer, both geographically and culturally, which enhances communication and efficiency. With suppliers operating in the same time zone and speaking the same language, there are fewer challenges that can lead to misunderstandings or delays. Shorter distances also result in faster delivery times, reducing lead times and enabling a quicker response to fluctuating consumer demand. In comparison, shipping from China to the UK takes an average of 30 days, with the Low Sulphur Regulations also driving up the cost of transportation.
Enhanced Control Over The Supply Chain
Reshoring empowers businesses to assume greater control over their supply chain. By bringing production closer to home, companies can improve the management of inventory, quality control, and other key business operations. Enhanced control reduces dependence on external factors, avoids uncontrolled costs and provides businesses with the agility they need to swiftly adapt to changing market conditions or unexpected global instability.
Revitalising Audience Appeal
Reshoring also offers significant benefits from a customer perspective. Consumers are increasingly conscious of sustainability and the benefits of ethical purchases, so are more likely to buy products that are locally produced and haven’t been shipped across entire continents. By reshoring, manufacturers will be able to celebrate their commitment to the environment, thereby creating a positive brand image that leads to increased sales and customer loyalty. And, because localised supply chains mean there aren’t the long waits for raw materials or components associated with offshore production, businesses will be able to meet customer demand more quickly and overcome the problem of elongated lead times.
Contact Us To Find Out More
At Hone-All, we have extensive experience of providing end-to-end precision engineering for UK manufacturers who are seeking to bring their operations home.
If you would like to reduce your costs, improve lead times, and strengthen your green credentials (as well as your contribution to the UK economy), please get in touch with Hone-All today on 01525 370666 to find out how we can support you.