As the UK emerges from the twin shocks of the coronavirus pandemic and Brexit, manufacturers are looking to ‘reshore’ their supply chains and bring production back to the UK.
The pandemic has highlighted the fragility of global supply chains, with businesses forced to confront the reality that they are reliant on goods and components from all over the world. The Brexit process has further complicated matters, with the UK’s departure from the EU introducing new customs and regulatory barriers.
Faced with these challenges, manufacturers are looking to bring production closer to home. This ‘reshoring’ trend is being driven by a desire to reduce dependence on overseas suppliers, avoid disruption to supply chains and gain a competitive edge by producing goods more quickly and efficiently.
UK manufacturers are already starting to see the benefits of reshoring. The Automotive Council reports that over half of its members are either already reshoring production or considering doing so in the future. And according to a recent survey by EEF, the manufacturers’ organisation, nearly a third of companies are planning to bring production back to the UK from overseas.
There are a number of reasons why reshoring is becoming more attractive to manufacturers. Firstly, it helps to protect against disruption to supply chains. By having production closer to home, businesses can avoid the delays and disruptions caused by long supply chains. This is especially important at a time when the pandemic has highlighted the risks of relying on overseas suppliers.
Secondly, reshoring can give businesses a competitive edge. By producing goods closer to customers, businesses can reduce lead times and respond more quickly to changes in demand. This agility is becoming increasingly important as consumer habits change in the post-pandemic world.
Lastly, reshoring can help businesses to save money. The weak pound and the rise in global shipping costs have made overseas production more expensive. At the same time, advances in technology have made it easier and cheaper to produce goods in the UK.
The benefits of reshoring are clear. But it’s not a decision that should be taken lightly. Manufacturers need to carefully consider the costs and risks involved before making the switch.