With China’s wage rises set to continue in double figures, it’s no surprise that the UK is a more attractive option for manufacturing, says Wilson Process Systems sales manager, Steve Cooke
Motorola and Google have announced the launch of the new Moto X Android phone, which goes head-to-head with the likes of Apple and Samsung. The latter both produce in China, but interestingly the Moto X will be produced in Fort Worth Texas. Apparently the decision reflects the rising labour costs in China. This threatened the consistency of the phone’s manufacturing cost, which is vital to compete globally.
In light of this, it’s no surprise that Wilson Process Systems is succeeding with its UK manufacturing solution designed to match offshore pricing, backed by a flexible supply chain and solid logistics.
With the help of key suppliers, WPS has been able to offer a consistent offshore factory gate price which is transparent. This provides full visibility, without committing to large volumes of product in transit on long lead-times and pro forma payment.
Effective communication and flexibility have been key. New product introduction and design for manufacture is controlled locally, without any time zone differences, language misinterpretation or risk of intellectual property (IP) being copied.
WPS aim to make the re-introduction of product formerly made in China back into the UK as painless as possible. The company manages all logistics, even when the customer has minimal information. In this instance, WPS has been able to re-engineer product and provide bills of materials for customer approval from samples.
For UK companies sourcing PCBAs abroad, the question should be: if the product doesn’t need lots of hand assembly, does it need to be built offshore? A machine in the UK costs the same to run as a machine in China and, if local, it’s only a car drive away.
With China’s wage rises set to continue in double figures and an economy expanding at 7.5 per cent year-on-year, the UK is a more attractive option for manufacturing. Here, minimal growth and low interest rates mean the UK has seen wages reduce in real terms, with no signs of change in the next 24-months.
On top of this, WPS has been fortunate with its clients. This has facilitated continued investment in the latest machines, all of which enables it to compete for the business it wants to bring back to the UK.
One thing’s for sure, every customer that’s engaged with WPS to re-shore a product produced in China is at the top of their game. Allowing WPS to produce that product is evidence that these guys know what’s good for their supply strategy.