Crawley-based Vent-Axia has shared its experiences of reshoring its manufacturing from China at the latest Sussex Chamber of Commerce Manufacturing Forum.
At the event, hosted by one of the leading ventilation manufacturers, other Sussex businesses heard how reshoring had created new jobs, resulted in investment in the local community and boosted the company’s competitive advantage.
Vent-Axia completed the reshoring of the balance of its domestic fan manufacturing, from China back to the UK, in January 2013 with the launch of three new production lines at its Crawley site.
The culmination of a two-year project, the new assembly lines doubled the company’s on-site manufacturing of its residential unitary fans.
The company invested more than £350,000 in tooling for the new production lines, as well as investing in building works to incorporate the new manufacturing.
Speaking at the event, Vent-Axia marketing manager, Jenny Smith and Graham Morrison, Vent-Axia Group inventory controller explained why the company decided to bring manufacturing back to the UK and how this decision had enhanced product innovation and improved customer responsiveness.
Smith commented: “Since completing reshoring we are able to produce our products more quickly in the UK to meet demand, significantly reducing the lead time required compared to when products were manufactured in China.
“We can also now produce shorter runs of specific bespoke products to meet customer needs, therefore making us more competitive and responsive in the marketplace.”
Chairman of the Manufacturing Forum at Sussex Chamber of Commerce, David Shore said: “We were delighted to hear how Vent-Axia has returned manufacturing to the UK and invested in Sussex.
“It is very valuable for other Sussex manufacturers to witness the benefits that this initiative has brought to Vent-Axia and the wider community. Reshoring not only makes good sense for Sussex but also good business sense as Vent-Axia has shown.”
Another benefit of moving manufacturing back to the UK was also explained at the event, describing how the company no longer needs to hold high levels of stock in its warehouse to anticipate demand. This stock reduction has reduced Vent-Axia’s working capital by approximately £250,000.
As well as investing in the local economy Vent-Axia’s commitment to British manufacturing has seen the company further investi in UK logistics, helping to lower the embodied energy of products by reducing carbon emissions.
The UK location has reduced the embodied energy in Vent-Axia’s products by lowering transport emissions by upwards of 15 tonnes of CO2 each year due to the reduction in international shipping.