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Stannah Stairlifts: Establishing a new European manufacturing site, saving 50% in production costs

Stannah Stairlifts, part of the £183 million Stannah group, have historically manufactured their stairlifts in the UK, enabling customers around the globe to live more independently. However, growing demand in European markets such as Germany, France and Italy had stretched the firm’s supply chain and seen an increase in low-cost competitors. Each of Stannah’s custom-made rails takes days to design, upholster and paint before delivery to customers in Europe – involving significant logistics costs.

Stannah wanted to explore the potential benefits of manufacturing and supplying their products from Central or Eastern Europe; leveraging opportunities in this region for reducing labour costs and improving delivery in Europe. However, they were concerned about the potential impact of a more complex supply chain on both customer service and the business as a whole.

Bringing a team with a successful track record of setting up supply chains across Europe, PA compared current and potential operating costs for a variety of European locations and, based on our findings, we drew up a shortlist of the best potential sites.

In line with our recommendations, Stannah decided to establish a manufacturing facility in Brno, Czech Republic. Using a clear, costed set of options, PA then worked with Stannah to deliver rapid implementation. As a result, Stannah has reduced the cost of producing their custom-made rails by 50 per cent, cut delivery time in Europe, and achieved project payback in less than two years – without any disruption to customer service.

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