We are seeing more and more Overseas companies, in particular, with Chinese origin setting up offices in the UK under the guise of a ‘manufacturing’ company.
Our previous article takes a look at how these companies are setting up websites emblazoned with a UK flag with a perception that they are a genuine manufacturer. This leads to inferior products which aren’t fit for the purpose they’re intended for.
Our Middle Eastern customers are often shocked to find out that these products with the appearance of being UK manufactured, are indeed not, particularly when they have specified European source: for quality, tight tolerances, reliability and traceability.
Our Investment In The UK
Hobut have in the last few years invested heavily in its infrastructure. From supply line to manufacturing and storage capabilities.
We understand that, to be successful for over 100 years in manufacturing, strategic investment needs to be implemented.
- Acquisition of a company called Unicores – a market leader and UK manufacturer for over 30 years of strip wound cores. Their product range includes cores, rectangular cores, nanocrystalline cores, poly wrapped cores, toroidal cores and more;
- Investment in a new 12,000 sq.ft. Raw Materials Storage Centre – allowing closer control and continuity of supply. This unit can hold up to 400 pallets to streamline operations;
- Significant investment in a new IT infrastructure to support future growth and innovations;
- State-of-the-art machinery purchased – allowing for closer tolerances, efficient and cost-effective end products and underpinning our commitment to the accreditation to ISO9001:2008;
- Investment in people – we understand the need for loyal, committed and talented employees and we have a solid foundation of over 100 people at our Walsall based manufacturing headquarters. This is constantly being evolved and grown and we have recently added a team of highly skilled engineers as we head in to the next exciting phase of our journey;
Hobut Takes A Look At Why You Should Buy British
Buying British Helps The Economy – Opting for products that are made in this country by a British manufacturer helps the UK economy to maintain existing jobs and create new jobs. Helping to keep British people employed means that the local economy benefits from money being paid to local people who are then likely to spend most of their income in Britain.
How this works in the manufacturing industry sector is like a “domino effect” with main contractors and sub-contractors. In its plainest form, the manufacturer’s increase in orders means that they need more people to handle the new workload and they will also order more from their sub-contractors, such as material suppliers (e.g. Steel Stockholders) and Surface Finishers (e.g. Powder Coaters and Galvanising Plants) who will also benefit from the increase in workload and subsequently will need more workforce too.
High Quality Manufacturing – Most UK manufacturers now have a minimum of an ISO 9001 accreditation or are working in-line with the BS EN 1090 manufacturing standard. The ISO 9001 certification is achieved by demonstrating a commitment to a quality management system. BS EN ISO 9000 is an international standard recognised worldwide.
This quality management system ensures that the origin of the products being produced are fully traceable, manufacturing standards are in place and stringent quality checks are being carried out ultimately allowing customers to not have to worry about the end result.
Having this quality management system in place also allows customers to understand exactly what they will be getting through our design and technical packages, with a formalised approval drawing to sign off on prior to manufacture on all products.
Local Service – Service and After-Service is a key element of any business. Companies who manufacture locally can often provide much shorter lead times and even respond to special requests much quicker than companies who import products. There is no need to build long transportation times into the lead times with local manufacture. If something goes wrong with a product then because it is locally manufactured, the more likely it is that the product can be repaired or exchanged, and site visits can easily be completed. If a product has to be sent back to an overseas manufacturer from repairs or to be replaced that can take time and obviously very costly to all parties. Especially, if working to tight deadlines.
Manufacturers should also have an open-door policy and be happy to show their manufacturing plant to customers. This can build confidence and trust – especially if dealing with each other for the first time.
Costs – As a business, we do understand that price is a driving factor in the decision-making process. With that said, the cheaper product isn’t always as good as it seems.
When you look at a product that’s being imported from outside of the UK, the product itself may be cheaper than its UK manufactured counterpart and may come with the relevant certification to allow you to put this into service, but once you take into account the carriage costs which may be subject to import duties, the carriage alone may actually be a similar cost to the product itself.
Especially due to the uncertainties of Brexit, it may be that in the future import duties could be applied to products coming from Europe too.
If you do make the decision not to buy from a British manufacturer, then make sure you know all of the hidden costs upfront before proceeding forward.
There is also, usually, a quality impact on buying cheaper products too. Do your research: Why and how are they cheaper? Are the raw materials fully traceable and from reputable suppliers? Are there any customer testimonials? Do they have a portfolio of existing projects that they can present?
At Hobut, we are proud of our heritage. Since 1915, we have been a huge part of the Midlands manufacturing industry and we continue to strive to be the best we can be. We will continually invest in new technologies and systems to drive our company and to be at the forefront in the market.