Overseas Design Houses seeking UK Plastic Moulders
Tex Plastics has noticed an interesting trend in overseas enquiries that more design houses are seeking out UK manufacturers, as they look to minimise dependency on Chinese plastic injection moulders.
British quality and integrity is key factor
With an influx of enquiries, especially from the southern hemisphere, Tex Plastics dug a little deeper to understand this change in enquiry level. When prompted, the design houses questioned were fairly consistent in their response. China is no longer the super low priced manufacturing base it once was. This combined with the recent shipping challenges and less than stringent respect for Intellectual Property of design features, has caused many design houses to rethink their manufacturing strategy.
Brexit has made the UK a more attractive manufacturing base
“The other surprising factor revealed was, as the UK is now out of the European Union, it is regarded as an easier place to do business. The English speaking nations particularly see the benefits in having product manufactured in the UK, listing the quality and ease of communications – especially as now most companies are more flexible around time zones and can communicate via video conferencing. “
Nigel Partridge Sales Manager Tex Plastics
UK Manufacturing is slowly returning from China
The combination of Brexit and the global pandemic has seen an acceleration in UK Manufacturing returning from China especially in the plastic injection moulding sector.
Here are the key reasons most businesses give when choosing the UK for plastic injection moulding over China.
- Shorter lead times – cash flow isn’t tied up for 3 months in a shipping container
- Lower minimum order quantities – shipping costs mean higher volumes to make it work
- More competitive – China is no longer the cheaper option for injection moulded parts as it used to be
- Managing quality control – especially if it takes 3 months to arrive
- Intellectual Property – IP rights are typically easier to enforce within Europe
Manufacturers making a UK return
Many British manufacturers have operations in China, but following the disruption brought by the pandemic, some businesses are considering the benefits of reshoring to the UK. The financial benefits are attractive, with the lower inventory costs and minimal risks associated with fluctuating exchange rates. By bringing business back to the UK, supply chains are shortened, making them less complicated and providing faster recovery times.
If COVID-19 has proven anything, it’s that there is a need for an increase in the repatriation of capabilities to the UK. As technology develops and human labour-intensive practices are reduced in favour of automation, there is less need for cheap overseas labour and the UK could be at the forefront of these new, exciting changes to manufacturing and the supply chain.