Reshoring: benefits of bringing electronics manufacturing home

Fermionx’ technical sales manager, Gary Rice

Fermionx’ technical sales manager, Gary Rice, explores the benefits of working with a UK-based manufacturer, from improved communications to a reduced carbon footprint

As the world becomes more complex and interconnected, many companies have outsourced their manufacturing processes to other countries. Original electronic manufacturers are prepared to put many miles between them and their suppliers to reduce costs—known as offshoring. However, in recent years, more businesses have started to consider the benefits of reshoring—bringing electronics manufacturing back home.

A main benefit of reshoring is improved quality control. When manufacturing is done overseas, it can be difficult to maintain the same level of quality and consistency expected in Western markets. By bringing manufacturing back home, companies have more control over the production process, ensuring their products meet the highest standards, leading to improved product quality.

FaceTime, collaboration platforms and social media will never replace the bonds forged by face-to-face meetings with suppliers. Trust built through regular communication and adequate information distribution is pivotal for success.

Fermionx’ technical sales manager, Gary Rice, explained: “When manufacturing is outsourced to overseas suppliers, lack of communication and collaboration can stifle confidence for manufacturers in their supplier. By reshoring, not only does it close the gap between time differences, it enables manufacturers to build a better bond with suppliers and work more closely and efficiently with them. Well-coordinated teams deliver better results.”

While it may seem counterintuitive, manufacturing in the UK or other Western countries can be more cost-effective long term. Historically, outsourcing was driven by the reduced cost of international labour. However, whether it’s shipping slowdowns or extensive manufacturer backlogs, the increasing instability of global supply chains has been uncovered. Although UK manufacturing engages with global supply chains, reshoring means boards are unlikely to be stuck in transit on ships or planes, risking production deadlines.

Simultaneously, recent years have seen concerns about the working conditions and environmental impact of outsourcing production. Products must be shipped long distances to reach their destination. This transportation can result in high levels of carbon emissions, contributing to climate change. By switching production to the UK and reducing the distance products travel, manufacturers can reduce their carbon footprint. Doing so, manufacturers demonstrate their commitment to ethical and sustainable production practices, improving their reputation among consumers and stakeholders.

Reshoring can also benefit the local economy. When manufacturing is done overseas, jobs are lost in the home country and economies suffer as a result. By reversing this, companies create jobs in their local communities and help strengthen the economy.

At UK-based electronic contract manufacturer FermionX, customers meet the team that makes their products. The company invites current and potential customers to visit its West Sussex-based design and manufacturing plant to discuss the benefits that working with a UK supplier can offer.