I read with interest last week’s article about manufacturing being pushed back to Britain by rising costs in Asia (“Made in Britain: it’s not a dream”).
We appear to be going full circle. In 2003, you reported on the “exodus in manufacturing and services” to India and other countries. In response, I wrote that if the globalisation process continued, it would be better to have strong global companies based in Britain even if they did not have a manufacturing presence here. What is interesting is that it is British-based companies such as Letts Filofax and Trunki, mentioned in your article, that increasingly see the opportunity in bringing their manufacturing back to Britain.
We need to continue to encourage British-based companies that have kept their engineering and R&D here to look at bringing back their manufacturing. The trends in manufacturing will support a new advanced calibre in this country – one that will build on our legacy but with updated technology.
In 2003, Hornby was one of the companies said to have benefited from moving manufacturing to China. How ironic that it has just announced a loss, partly because of disruption caused by a Chinese supplier. I wonder how soon it will be before that firm brings manufacturing back to Britain.
Tim Lawrence is a manufacturing expert at PA Consulting Group
For more information on how to get your organisation fit for the future, please click here or contact us now.