What is reshoring?
Reshoring is a collective effort from the manufacturing sector in the UK, to bring production back to home soil. One of the conclusions of a new report produced by the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufacture and Commerce, shows a significantly reduced emphasis on overseas production and a return of manufacturing to the UK due to advances in production technologies, as well as rising costs and regulations abroad.
The report looks specifically at medium sized manufacturers and argues that the changing face of business will mean making more products at home. After decades of subcontracting production offshore, many enticing factors are starting to emerge and manufacturing in the UK is already on the increase.
Factors such as:
1. Decreased risk to supply chain
Local supply chains offer simpler logistics and greater agility. Gaps resulting from any sudden change can be quickly filled.
2. Shorter delivery times
Customer orders are fulfilled more quickly, while rapid transmission of prototypes and parts for testing reduces time to market for new products.
3. Lower minimum order quantities
With local suppliers, small orders become practical and less cash is tied up in stock.
4. Improved quality
This key UK strength is often the prime motive for reshoring. Far-Eastern suppliers may be capable of delivering the required quality, but assessing their facilities, processes and products and correcting any problems, is difficult at such a distance.
5. Closer communication
As above, long distances are an obstacle to effective co-operation and problem resolution.
6. Reduced transport costs
The rising expense of shipping and importing is compounded by distance. Air freight, for small orders and prototypes, is especially costly.
7. Smaller carbon footprint
Fewer transport miles mean less fuel consumption and greater environmental sustainability.