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Bringing your Supply Chain closer to home

If there is one thing we are good at in the UK, it’s rising to a challenge and turning adversity into opportunity, you could almost argue that it’s hard wired into our DNA.

The current and very serious challenges to our Supply Chains faced by business up and down the UK will start to ease over time, and what might emerge once this crisis is over are opportunities to once again start to support and grow the United Kingdom – with the emphasis on unite.

Without doubt, we have seen how fragile extended supply lines can be, especially for those who source offshore, and we are seeing deep and painful shock waves throughout our supply lines. Understandably, competition and price have been strategic and customer driven goals for businesses in recent years, and that in turn has led the push to secure products from offshore.

But in these very challenging days should we not look to consider our long-term strategies as a result of what we have learnt from this crisis.

How much value could we add to our customer base if we could use local suppliers with UK made and sourced products? At the same time, we have no wish to abandon supply lines and loyalties that have stood us in good stead until recently. So how best do we handle this dichotomy?

Sounds easy perhaps and in real terms a largely UK based supply line would take time and collaboration to develop, but we do have enormous innovative and entrepreneurial capacity within our shores.

A key consideration of a closer proximity to our supply sources is the ability to leverage shorter lead-times and smaller order quantities, which in turn will increase stock turns with a much-needed boost to cash flow.

“Made in the UK” still carries huge value and kudos globally and perhaps quality and confidence will carry more weight into the future!

What is certain is that a more holistic approach to supply chain and customer relationships which unite all parties in the search for leadership and leverage is required, UK businesses especially, are very well positioned to help unite the kingdom.


Colin Allaway – Lean Operations Consultant

Grant Baker – Lean Operations Consultant