Yorkshire Manufacturing: Offshoring losing its appeal

MANUFACTURERS in Yorkshire are increasingly seeing the benefits of returning production to the region.

While outsourcing work to territories such as China remains appealing on cost grounds, companies are seeing advantages to maintaining operations closer to home.

Quality control, lead times and shipping costs are just some of the factors leading firms to reconsider plans to move production overseas or even return it to the UK.

Gordon Watson, managing director of SMS Automation, said: “China’s prices are increasing but it’s not as black and white as something just being cheaper.

“Companies I know have been told by larger parent companies to look for local suppliers, not just on cost but because of lead times, meeting European legislation, and the ability to manage the process.”

The opportunities and challenges facing Yorkshire’s manufacturing sector are considered in more detail in a new free supplement from TheBusinessDesk.com, in association with DLA Piper, available to download today.

Richard May, managing partner at DLA Piper in Sheffield, said: “Companies put up with extended supply times because of the cost improvement but once those margins narrow you have to look at the other reasons for keeping production abroad or moving it back and the benefits of keeping it in the UK start to be looked at again.”

Click here to download the new 16-page supplement, ‘Yorkshire manufacturing: Making growth happen” here.