Manufacturers Think Local in Wake of Coronavirus Scare

A leading injection tool mould manufacturer has warned the manufacturing industries that they need to rethink and reconsider any long-term benefits that come from sourcing goods locally as the coronavirus breaks supply chains.

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Reports have recently circulated that the factories of UK construction company JCB may face lowered production levels as they are running short of vital components required for their products, such as a simple brass ball valve or plastic needed to make goods. The source of their components is China, which has many areas currently on lockdown due to the virus.

How is This Changing Outsourcing?

In the words of the managing director of Northern Ireland’s Ad-Vance Engineering, more businesses need to think locally and stop relying on the cheapness of overseas outsourcing for goods and tools. With a big number of businesses across the UK – with industry leaders amongst them – the coronavirus highlights how many base their success and profit margins on importing goods from China. For example, almost 50% of the supplies needed for the tool manufacturing industry are sourced in China. The impact of the lockdown in China could be immense.

Why Do We Rely on China?

From sweaters to industrial plastics and brass ball valves, the breaking of supply lines is causing a huge shock in many industries. However, some companies are seeing it as a huge opportunity. For decades, big British retailers have been turning their backs on manufacturers based in the UK and preferring to buy in cheaper stock from Asia. This led to many local suppliers being forced to close as they could not compete.

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Ad-Vance Engineering is currently fielding a higher-than-average number of enquiries from industries as diverse as the automotive, medical, and pharmaceutical producers. Having difficulties sourcing their necessary parts, such as screws or a brass ball valve, from China and the Far East, they need to find another supplier for injection moulding tools.

Vance has made statements that local businesses in the UK such as his have met the challenge by repositioning and investing in their core services. This has enabled them to develop a more sustainable supply solution for the long-term future. This is an opportunity for UK businesses to reconsider their suppliers and to create sustainable supply chains that do not rely on cheap labour for the sake of higher profits.


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