Manufacturers are increasingly bringing production back in house or looking for local suppliers as they seek more secure sources of supply.
According to a new survey by the manufacturers’ organisation, the EEF, the recession and recent natural disasters have made UK firms increasingly wary of sourcing components from abroad.
The EEF survey comes not long after new research by bankers Barclays that shows manufacturers have become increasingly afraid that the risks of global trade outweigh the opportunities.
EEF regional director Andy Tüscher said: “Supply chains have become increasingly globalised for manufacturers.
“This brings a range of benefits but there are risks attached when things go wrong.
“This can also create opportunities to re-shore production and rebuild key manufacturing with companies bringing some production in-house and using local supply chains.”
However, far from everyone can source significant supplies of materials or components from the UK.
Peter Hoy, managing director of Macalloy, the Dinnington-based world leading designer, manufacturer and supplier of systems used by construction companies building major structures, says a typhoon in Asia has delayed shipments from China by anything up to three weeks.
“We bring in goods from overseas because we have to, in order to compete,” says Mr Hoy.
“We do have emergency contingency plans with local suppliers – but like a lot of other companies we are pretty much reliant on existing supply routes from overseas.”