As a result of Brexit there is a growing interest in ‘made in the UK’ and it is currently being talked about more than for a very long time. The focus on our country being independent has brought the realisation that perhaps sourcing here may become important again. The likelihood is that the UK will leave the customs union as well as the free market making import delays and tariffs a reality for everyone here. This appears to be stated government policy even before the negotiations start.
With vehicle manufacturing being a major employer and foreign exchange earner for the UK plans are already being put in place to increase the home content of British built vehicles by increasing manufacturing on our island. This will become a critical way forward for the motor industry after Brexit or delays to supply of parts will kill this and many other industries. One of the hidden benefits of Brexit will be the creation of whole new parts supply industries.
Stuga has been pushing the parts supply factor for its machines ever since it started to manufacture and sell automated sawing and machining centers in late 1990’s but never has this been more important than it may be in future. Fabricators buying machines today need to consider what will happen in two years’ time when reality crystalises and the possible queues form at customs for lorries carrying overnight services from the continent. Stuga is aware of claims from UK dealers of foreign competitors to have all the parts in stock but do they really? Many parts come from the continent by overland ‘next day’ deliveries. Stuga resources all parts in the UK and only uses standard parts readily available from more than one supplier in this country. These parts are used in very many different industries and therefore the supply chains are well stocked, many and varied. As the manufacturer of the machines Stuga has to have parts in stock in order to build future orders. This supply of parts along with the well-known technical back-up is stated by many customers as one of their reasons for buying from Stuga. More than 170 Stuga sawing & machining center owners can verify this.
Will Brexit make it ‘cool’ to buy from British manufacturers? It is hard to answer this with any certainty but since the referendum there have been some encouraging signs that this may become more than just a passing fashion. If negotiations prove tough then perhaps the sentiment will grow which may mean more market share for British built goods. Wouldn’t that be a good thing for most of us perhaps?!
Machinery built entirely in this country under the Stuga brand has been around for more than thirty years with the well-known sawing & machining centers being strongly represented since 1999; the first ten being installed during 2000. Interestingly these first ten are still in full operation in the market place with all functions fully operational contrary to the scare stories circulated by competitors and their UK dealers back in those dark days of misinformation. Stuga machines have the backing of the factory here in Norfolk to develop new software and control systems that are backwards compatible, meaning that whatever happens to software and electronics from key suppliers a strategy will be devised to overcome it. This has happened recently with a major electronic supplier that unexpectedly went out of business and a replacement system was designed, built and tested with the minimum of delay.
Stuga machines are backed-up with a serious and well-resourced service centre that is manned with experienced technical staff. Most Stuga machines and all sawing & machining centers are supplied with sound enabled full colour cameras which are untilised through the internet to help quickly diagnose potential issues and guide customer or technician to quickly find the route cause, or send a technician with the correct spare part.