The United Kingdom has a thriving manufacturing industry, which creates thousands of new jobs every year, and provides an increasingly greater proportion of the goods we need.
Meanwhile, in countries like Germany, many factories are closing and relocating to countries with cheaper labour costs.
If your company’s products are manufactured overseas, then you should be thinking about whether it’s time to relocate some or all your operations to the UK or other European Union countries.
Keying up with the right UK manufacturer could help your business stay competitive and profitable.
You’ll find many companies offering manufacturing services, so deciding which one to pick requires careful consideration of your current requirements and the long-term needs of your business.
Here are a few questions to ask yourself before you sign the contract.
What is Your Manufacturing Process?
Can you provide a copy of your production process to ensure it fits with the company’s capabilities? Can they manufacture at your proposed scale?
If the company you are working with cannot work within your process, you will only end up wasting time and finances.
Is the Manufacturer Local, or Can they Work Remotely?
Can they fix the problem remotely or do they need to visit the site in person?
This might not seem like an important distinction, but it could make all the difference if something goes wrong, so you need to know how quickly they can attend the site in an emergency.
Can they Supply What You Need for Your Business?
There are some things you might consider to be ‘nice-to-have’, but if you can’t get what you need, it may be time to move on.
For example, if you require an Aluminium Supplier, you’ll want to work with a professional company that can supply what you want, when you want it, and to high quality, no matter the grade.
What is the Turnaround Time on the Projects You Typically Work On?
Are you looking for a service provider who can deliver a fast turnaround? If so, then you need to make sure the manufacturer has the number of staff and facilities to meet your demand.
If your manufacturing needs are seasonal and you require a manufacturer who can respond quickly to be able to meet demand, then you will need to start your due diligence process much earlier than if production is steady year on year.
If you want your products to be unique, and are looking for advanced technologies or bespoke products, then this will involve working closely with a manufacturer before the design is finalised.
If the manufacturer is not prepared to work with you on that process, you may find yourself paying more than expected for products that aren’t exactly what you wanted.
You may want to consider hiring additional services depending on your manufacturing needs, such as shipping or warehousing, or even a translation service.
The manufacturers who move into this space also have additional responsibilities like taking valuable intellectual property (IP) and will require specific training to do so.