Friend-shoring: UK Manufacturers Seize Global Opportunities

By Made In Group
schedule9th Aug 23

In the ever-evolving realm of global business, a new trend has emerged that is reshaping supply chains and creating fresh opportunities for enterprises worldwide. This trend, known as "friendshoring," encompasses the practice of outsourcing or offshoring manufacturing operations to friendly and allied nations. Amidst this trend, UK manufacturing companies find themselves at a crucial juncture, positioned to leverage their strengths and appeal to companies across allied nations seeking alternatives to traditional manufacturing hubs like China.

Global Disruptions and the Friendshoring Advantage:

As global supply chains experience unprecedented disruptions, companies are seeking more resilient and diversified manufacturing solutions. Friendshoring offers a pathway to mitigate risks and optimise production processes. UK manufacturing companies are well-poised to capitalise on this trend, presenting themselves as reliable and strategic partners for enterprises exploring avenues beyond China.

Appealing to Allied Nations:

UK manufacturing companies can strategically position themselves to appeal to companies from allied nations who are reevaluating their manufacturing strategies. These companies may be looking to reshore or diversify their production capabilities due to various factors, including rising costs, geopolitical uncertainties, and the need for greater supply chain agility.

Unlocking Opportunities:

  • Expertise and Quality: Highlight the UK's legacy of craftsmanship, skilled workforce, and stringent quality standards. Emphasise the potential to collaborate and deliver high-quality products that meet or exceed international benchmarks.
  • Proximity and Communication: Showcase the advantage of geographical proximity, facilitating smoother communication, reduced time zone differences, and easier coordination. This can contribute to more effective collaboration and faster response times.
  • Flexible Production: Highlight the ability to scale production up or down quickly based on market demand, offering the agility that is crucial in today's dynamic business environment.
  • Sustainable Practices: Underline the UK's commitment to sustainability and ethical manufacturing, resonating with companies seeking partners aligned with responsible business practices.

Implementation Strategies:

To effectively tap into the friendshoring trend and appeal to companies considering a shift from China, UK manufacturing companies can adopt practical strategies:

  • Market Positioning: Position the UK as a strategic manufacturing hub by promoting its unique strengths, expertise, and business-friendly environment.
  • Collaborative Networks: Establish partnerships with trade organisations, industry groups, and government bodies to create a united front that showcases the UK's friendshoring potential.
  • Innovation and Adaptation: Invest in technology, automation, and advanced manufacturing techniques to showcase the UK's ability to deliver cutting-edge solutions.
  • Customisation and Personalisation: Highlight the UK's capacity for customisation and tailor-made solutions, catering to the diverse needs of companies exploring friendshoring options.

In conclusion, the global friendshoring trend presents an opportune moment for UK manufacturing companies to position themselves as premier partners for companies seeking resilient, reliable, and technologically advanced alternatives to traditional manufacturing centres. By capitalising on their strengths, embracing innovation, and forging strategic alliances, UK companies can navigate this trend successfully and forge a path towards enhanced global competitiveness. This discussion is particularly relevant to the members of Made in the Midlands and Made in Yorkshire, who meet monthly to discuss industry issues as part of the Made in Group's mission to champion UK industry and knowledge sharing.

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