British Business Leaders Meet to Discuss "Supply Chain Localisation"Made News
The Made in Group members met via Zoom as part of one of Backing Britain Live 2020’s Virtual Roundtables to discuss the theme of Supply Chain Localisation. The aim for this group was to look at ways of localising the supply chain and effective reshoring, whilst discussing risk, opportunities and strategy around this theme.
Fittingly, the attendees were in agreement that a business community, such as that which Made in Group sets out to facilitate, can be as effective a method as any to reroute supply chains.
Most can also agree that, having control over the supply chain process, alongside reliability in that process, is vital for a business. Moreover, the current global situation has undoubtedly raised anxieties over globalisation worldwide, which may go some way in explaining a strengthened market desire for localisation in supply chains?
However, for those businesses who share this desire but are unable to fully commit to a reshoring strategy, the prospect of “near shoring” was raised as a potential solution. This is the term used to describe going to nearby companies for your supply chain - sitting in the middle of offshoring and reshoring.
Another big challenge faced by many was that of changing tariffs disrupting supply chains and resultantly disrupting business operations. However, could the concept of an “ethical tariff” go a long way in providing the solution here? The potential for this was covered as a topic in one of the later Virtual Roundtable discussions at the expo.
Using smart and ethical tariffs, it would be possible to have open trade for companies who adhere to high standards. Simultaneously, we could reduce and remove poorly run international suppliers that are unable to compete fairly with the UK, for example, those who fail to adhere to environmental standards or overlook employee earnings and welfare.
Ultimately, many were in agreement that the UK government needs to take more responsibility for offering incentives for manufacturers to commit to reshoring. Perhaps this would allow the UK industry more broadly should perhaps be given the chance to flex its innovative muscle more regularly?