5 Benefits Of UK Manufacturing
12th March, 2018
The United Kingdom, where the industrial revolution began in the late 18th century has a long standing history of manufacturing which contributed to Britain's early economic growth. During the second half of the 20th century however, there was a steady decline in the importance of manufacturing. Despite this, manufacturing remains an important sector of the modern British economy and the UK is one of the most attractive countries in the world for manufacturing, with outputs rapidly on the rise.
With Brexit looming closer and businesses looking at their options for the creation and distribution of their products, it’s no wonder that people are starting to look at UK manufacturing more seriously. There are a variety of benefits to turning to UK manufacturing for businesses in Great Britain. Our focus is in garments but these benefits can easily apply to various industries.
So what benefits are there to UK Manufacturing?
1. Lower carbon footprint - the greenest option
Sustainability and the environment is a hot topic of discussion at the moment. There have been changes at a political level such as the introduction of the 5p charge for plastic bags in shops and supermarkets, as well as the recent ‘latte levy’ for coffee shops and cafes. With issues like running out of landfill space and the continued effect of damaging the ozone layer, it is pertinent for any business to want to consider their own carbon footprint.
With UK manufacturing, you are decreasing the amount of miles that the product has to travel. The less distance travelled, the less fuel is used and the less damage it has on the environment. Choosing UK manufacturing means that you are choosing the greener option for your company and for your customers and for many, that would be a preferential and admirable choice.
2. Quicker turn around
With less distance to travel when delivering products manufactured in the UK, the time it takes from production to delivery is significantly reduced. With quicker turn around, your product can get into the hands of the consumer quicker, which in turn could lead to more sales per year. Product introduction through UK manufacturing means that you can beat your competitors to market and capitalise on the demand.
3. Supporting local economy and sustaining further UK manufacturing
Choosing UK manufacturing doesn’t only benefit your company directly, it also impacts the national and local economy and the scale of UK manufacturing itself. Supporting our heritage of manufacturing in Britain means supporting new job opportunities in local areas, with possibilities for providing tangible skills to future generations. There is also a surge in demand for UK manufactured products which increases your businesses appeal to potential customers. UK manufacturers are also working together to facilitate the resurgence of UK manufacturing, from direct business to forums and websites like Make It British, who highlight and celebrate UK manufacturing.
4. Ability to see production in person
Being able to visit a factory or manufacturers premises and see your products being created can be highly beneficial. It reassures you about the sustainability of the product and the quality of what you’re producing and it increases your options with promotional material and marketing - you can literally pop down and take a picture as your product is being made to show the authenticity of it to your potential customers.
On top of this, if your manufacturer is UK based it means it is much easier to conduct audits for any of your policy needs, be it ethics or sustainability - you can have more access to audit stock and business practises by being able to view the processes for yourself.
With UK manufacturing you are more likely to have lower minimum order quantities than you would overseas, which is practical for smaller businesses. The unit cost may be higher but there is less commitment and less risk for businesses who cannot tie up their cash in such large investments. It also means that old styles or models can be run down easier if discontinued to make way for the latest models.
… but what about cost?
There is definitely cost concerns when it comes to UK manufacturing over offshore manufacturing, but the truth is that the cost gap between the two is getting smaller and will continue to change when Brexit comes into force.
In some industries, the cost differences are more of a myth. Make It British for example have a blog entitled “Is making clothing in the UK really more expensive?", which breaks down the different costs involved in manufacturing a T-shirt.
Cost is always going to be a driving force when choosing your manufacturer, but any business should also consider the benefits of UK manufacturing and their own brand ethics when making this decision.