Sussex manufacturer tells of reshoring gains

Posted on 6 Dec 2014 by The Manufacturer

Vent-Axia, the Crawley-based manufacturer of fan and ventilation systems, has told other Sussex manufacturers how re-shoring production from China has created new jobs and boosted the competitive advantage of the market-leading company.

Speaking at the latest Sussex Manufacturing Forum event, Vent-Axia ambassadors Jenny Smith and Graham Morrison explained how the company’s decision to bring manufacturing back to the UK had enhanced product innovation and improved customer responsiveness.

“We are now much closer to our market,” said Smith. “We have cut our lead times from three months to a matter of weeks, which enables us to respond much more quickly to market opportunities.”

Vent-Axia has invested £350,000 in tooling for new production lines and associated building works. Re-shoring has created jobs, strengthened the company’s local supply chain and reduced its carbon footprint, as well as speeding up the Research & Development cycle from prototyping to production helping Vent-Axia maintain its position as a market leader.

Vent-Axia have a strong history invention and innovation, the company was launched in 1936 after Joe Akester invented the world’s first electrically-operated window fan. Then came the launch the first electrically-operated window ventilator in 1936, and during the World War II, Vent-Axia were responsible for air quality at Number 10 Downing Street.

Jenny Smith continued: “’Made in Britain’ remains a very powerful selling factor around the world. They are used by the “government as a prime example of how UK manufacturing can compete in a global market place.”

The Sussex Manufacturing Forum is sponsored by UK Trade and Investment (UKTI), accountants and tax advisers Carpenter Box and HSBC Bank Plc and is open to any manufacturing or engineering business with a base in Sussex.

Chris Coopey, forum facilitator and head of the Manufacturing Group at Carpenter Box chartered accountants, said: “Vent-Axia illustrates the value of the manufacturing sector to the local economy – and proves how innovation and market flexibility can deliver success in today’s highly competitive environment.”