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Reshoring UK Website provides the conduit between Manufacturing and suppliers

Held at the Manufacturing Resource Centre, Alcester, on 16th May 2018, the GTMA and its trade association partners hosted the official launch seminar to highlight the benefits of the Reshoring UK initiative.

As a collaboration of 14 leading industrial engineering and technology associations working together to assist manufacturers connect with trusted, accredited suppliers capable of delivering products and services that match their varied requirements, Reshoring UK (www.reshoringuk.co.uk) has been developed to provide a crucial ‘end-to-end’ engineering and buyer resource portal.

As the originator and one of the key associations supporting its ongoing development, Julia Moore, CEO of the GTMA, presented the current status and future plans for Reshoring UK: “The development of the Reshoring initiative is to encourage engagement with any manufacturing supply chain, with the website and database highlighting the strength, skills and innovation available to manufacturers in the UK.

“It continues to be developed as a comprehensive map of the myriad of capabilities available within the UK. Currently holding over 4,000 companies’ details, it allows users from any industry sector to build a connected network that would form the foundation of a robust, end-to-end SME engineering supply chain able to support any manufacturing or technology focused UK business.”

The structured approach adopted by the website clearly demonstrates to OEMs and Tier 1 manufacturing companies the extent and strength of the engineering supply chain available in the UK. Advanced industrial sectors, such as aerospace, automotive, defence, renewable energy and power generation, marine, medical, rail, packaging and consumer products, that need to fill the gaps or strengthen existing supply chains as well as creating potential new ones, now have a ready source of capable and competent suppliers.

“The map locates suppliers that are members of the various trade associations, so they are a trusted resource that anyone using the website can rely upon to build a connected network,” explains Julia Moore. “With multi discipline leading industrial and technological associations all working in collaboration, Reshoring UK provides access to the various skill sets that cover the whole supply chain. From concept to product and process design, through process engineering, tooling and methods to finishing and inspection, all the way to delivery to the end customer, there is a structured approach that will help eliminate the gaps in any established supply chains or provide the opportunity for new ones to be formed.

“The lost skills available in the UK are not always visible to OEMs and their tiered supply chains, the Reshoring initiative will highlight the depth and breadth of the various capabilities and start to dispel the sweeping statements such as ‘we can’t get anyone in the UK to make it’.”

The website allows visitors to appreciate the extent of suppliers and to ‘zoom’ into a regional area allowing for a specific search for a particular resource, such as toolmakers; cast metals; engineering machinery and equipment; precision engineering; measurement and testing, or a cluster search of all categories within a specified region.

Listed companies that are searched remain under the heading of their ‘mother’ trade or technology association, so each association has a full understanding of the ‘wants and needs’ of manufacturers from each industry sector.

Julia Moore also covered the planned future developments for the website. They include improving the visitor experience further with change of colour indicators of companies viewed, and the setting up of a Search and Find facility. She states: “We also see the growth of the website by linking up with organisations involved in key technical sectors such as aerospace, automotive, rail and medical. Expressions of interest have also been received from other trade associations and technical bodies.”

The Reshoring partners are also considering how to establish ‘Cluster Groups’ for the website users to import companies from various categories into a regional cluster, potentially in a secure section of the website to ensure data integrity. And, to develop ‘shared knowledge’ on processes, materials and research that could potentially benefit the whole of the UK.

The Right Honourable, The Baroness Lorely Burt of Solihull, is a Patron of Reshoring UK, and she issued a statement: “The development of the Reshoring initiative is to encourage engagement with our manufacturing supply chain and to recognise the strength, skills and innovation available to manufacturers in the UK.”

Julia Moore concludes: “This is just the start of this initiative, and with more engineering Trade Associations joining in the future, we look forward to the development of this Reshoring platform with source funding and sponsorship opportunities also available.”

Richard Jenkins, Area Director Lloyds Manufacturing, Commercial & SME Banking Midlands, presented ‘Our Support for UK Manufacturing in a Rapidly Changing World’. He said: “There is an increasing desire for ‘Made in Britain’ quality and a desire by many supply chains to shorten their supply chains which has seen many manufacturers realise the opportunities that come with reshoring.

“Lloyds Bank wholeheartedly supports the GTMA in the Reshoring UK initiative to help its members, and those of fellow trade bodies who are supporting the initiative to help maximise growth opportunities.”

Presenting an honest view of business cyber security was David Thomas, Group Chairman, Bluegrass Group (Accredited with internal standards ISO 20000 IT Service Management, ISO 9001 and Cyber Essentials). “Protecting yourself from cyber threats is about strategically managing risks,” he said. “No one can know with 100% certainty when or how they will fall victim to an attack. Instead of panicking after the fact, take the necessary steps now to ensure whatever harm comes your way isn’t too damaging.”