Patriotism is one of the key drivers for supplies, say Bradford firms (From Bradford Telegraph and Argus)
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Patriotism is one of the key drivers for supplies, say Bradford firms
A Bradford business leader has confirmed trends shown up in two new reports which point to more manufacturing firms doing business with suppliers in the UK rather than importing components.
Sandy Needham, chief executive of Bradford Chamber of Commerce, which represents 1,100 firms, said due to the prohibitive cost of holding stocks, many manufacturers preferred to buy from suppliers in this country as long as the quality was right to ensure prompt delivery of goods when needed.
She said that firms in the Bradford and Airedale Manufacturing Alliance, which the Chamber administers, were increasingly turning to domestic suppliers to overcome logistics delays from abroad.
“It’s definitely a continuing trend and so long as local companies can find a reliable supplier providing goods of the right quality they are prepared to pay a little more for them,” she said.
According to research by Barclays bank, more UK manufacturers are looking to each other for support rather than buy from abroad.
Almost two thirds of firms surveyed used British suppliers for commodities and 20 per cent bought UK-made components with 39 per cent buying from abroad.
More than half of firms are producing goods that are sold to UK end users or used as components in UK production.
While currency risks put off some firms from importing supplies, the majority, 36 per cent, said they simply prefer to source from the UK.
Chris Forrest, Barclays Corporate Banking head of manufacturing for the Northern region, said: “There is a clear sign of patriotism amongst UK manufacturers as values, loyalty and confidence hold firm with proximity being seen as a key driver.
“Given the current economic climate, a focus on domestic strategies and procurement is understandable, however manufacturers must not be afraid to play a lead role on the global supply chain stage.”
Quality remains the key to choosing a supplier for 40 per cent of firms, with 33 per cent focusing on price, while 57 per cent said quality was the main driver of their sales.
Meanwhile, the manufacturers’ body EEF said companies are increasingly using local firms because of rising disruptions to overseas supplies due to the recession and natural disasters.
A survey showed that two out of five firms had suffered disruption to imported supplies and had brought production in-house, while a quarter had increased their use of local suppliers.
Sandy Needham added: “A key factor in using local suppliers is the requirement to be able to buy-in supplies of the right quality quickly and reliably as the cost of holding stocks has become prohibitive for many businesses which also cannot afford the long lead-times involved with importing some materials and components.”