The great Cranfield debate

Posted on 1 Apr 2015 by The Manufacturer

Now in its sixth year, The National Manufacturing Debate (NMD) held at Cranfield University is always based around a critical topic. 2015's topic is how do we develop the capability for effective reshoring to the UK?

The established format of the day is selected key speakers deliver their speeches in the morning fuelling food for thought followed by the debate in the afternoon.

The panel for the debate consists of influential business professionals ready to offer their opinions and knowledge to the floor in ‘Question Time’ style. This year colleagues from USA and Mexico will also be joining the debate.

Cars rolling along the production line
Cars rolling along the production line of a UK automotive manufacturer.

Lord Alec Broers is chairing the event and the final debate will be presented by Nick Hussey, managing director of The Manufacturer.

An interesting aspect to the whole day is that a white paper will be published by Cranfield. This is produced by a group of MSc students, supervised by Professor Rajkumar Roy and Dr. Patrick McLaughlin and gives an analysis of the facts around UK reshoring and the capability.

The report will highlight the UK capabilities required to sustain the reshoring that has started in the UK. All registered participants of the NMD will be invited to take part in a national survey before the debate.

Reshoring is increasing in UK Manufacturing, driven by shifting consumer preferences, a reduction of the wage gap with emerging economies, increasing quality concerns, volatile international transport costs, concern for the environmental impact and a desire by management to bettercontrol quality and supply chain risks.

Cranfield PQThere is a government incentive to support reshoring in the UK. NMD will debate the capabilities required to keep the reshored manufacturing within the UK for a long time. The debate will be informed by good practice from the USA and Mexico.
Come along to the debate to find out views from the keynote speakers and to find out what the white paper recommends and discuss the outcomes.

Speaking ahead of the event, Nick Hussey said:“Reshoring is a hot political subject in many developed economies and increasingly in the developing world as they seek to protect fledgling manufacturing businesses from the effects of reshoring.

“For the UK the key is surely to reshore only the right businesses based on sophistication, complexity and skills. We must avoid competing for work based on low skills and low value add. But how do you identify and classify where we should restore and where we should not? The debate will tackle these and many other issues surrounding the huge reshoring challenge.”