Plant & Works Engineering
Run of new manufacturers seek to buy British with Reshoring UK
Published:  17 December, 2020

More manufacturers that source often lowpriced components from abroad are finding UK-based alternative suppliers at www.Reshoring.UK, a new collaborative marketplace, initiated by the Gauge and Toolmakers Association (GTMA).

Beck & Pollitzer and Frog Bikes are among a raft of companies that have found or are seeking UK suppliers this year with the help of the Reshoring UK platform. The Scottish Plastics and Rubber Association is the latest business group to join the growing list of 32 trade associations and research organisations on the Reshoring network, which now has representation in every devolved nation.

Covid-19, Brexit and other external factors are pushing more companies to look for local suppliers for higher quality and shorter lead times by using Reshoring UK to achieve this. Lower costs are a primary driver for sourcing parts in Asia, but more companies are finding that technical capability, quality, environmental issues and proximity are far more important than price alone, when such parts may suffer from global blockages, quality defects, or delivery delays.

Reshoring UK is an interactive match-making tool that allows companies to search for a UKbased company by manufacturing category or a key word search– such as toolmaking, injection moulding or composites – by region, industry sector or association. Companies can then post enquiries to the selected companies requesting further information. It is designed for OEMs, tier ones and SMEs to locate manufacturing capacity which may be conveniently sited ‘down the road’.

Assisted by Reshoring UK, specialist moulder and toolmaker BEC Group has helped several UK companies that have struggled with suppliers in Asia and Eastern Europe who cannot deliver to the criteria that these products demand; high quality, delivery, and responsiveness. Often a company needs quick and expert consultation with the supplier about a technical issue, where it helps if the supplier is local.

Critical components are particularly suitable for the switch from China or Eastern Europe back to the UK, explained Clare Elvy, marketing manager at BEC Group: “Customers who enjoy stable supply chains have had to reframe their priorities, and are now looking for faster communication, faster problem solving, tighter control and increased agility. Risk management is moving up the priority list. ‘Locally-sourced’ is rapidly rising in importance with a spotlight on environmental impacts. There is higher demand for better traceability of products, shorter supply chains with less environmental impact.”

In November the Scottish Plastics and Rubber Association joined Reshoring UK. Kevin Ross, president of SPRA and managing director of Impact Solutions, commented: “We have seen a reversal of globalisation where manufacturing was focused in lower cost countries over a number of years. This reshoring has been intensifying as a result of Brexit and Covid as the limitation of  global supply chains have been exposed but also the capability, ingenuity, diversity and cost effectiveness of the UK supply chain has been proven.”

The Reshoring UK platform works by linking the members and customers of 32 trade associations using an intelligent search – it is not creating another network but leveraging the existing strengths of these well-established business groups.

GTMA CEO Julia Moore, concluded: “Matching the needs of businesses that are reshoring, or even to shine a light on the ‘lost skills’ the engineering marketplace can provide, demonstrates where the Reshoring website excels. It can make the compiling of an end-to-end supply chain much more efficient, minimising the effort required to find businesses that are capable and competent enough to provide the support required.”