It puts your mind at ease a bit when you know companies are starting to re-shore their manufacturing back to the UK- aluminium casting and automotive water pump manufacturer Mark Water Pumps can attest to this. However, according to David Lewis (pictured), Plant Manager at MWP, UK business will still have to work harder to remain competitive and retain customers in the Brexit era.
“We are lucky to the extent that MWP’s manufacturing base is an all in-house operation. We manufacture automotive and other aluminium die-cast produced parts; there is an efficient large capacity warehouse and logistics operation; we machine and assemble on site and have our own automotive parts testing centre to prove the functionality and reliability of the products.
"This ‘all under one roof’ philosophy helps us to run a lean, flexible business model that is quick to respond to changes in demand and where we are totally in control of quality, which you just can’t do if you ship a large amount of parts, products or materials from the far East. With the pound reducing in value, our exports can be more competitively priced, but we still need to be able to ‘act fast’ in order to advantage of market opportunities be they domestic, or export.
"Keeping costs down is also crucial. Working hand-in-hand with our philosophy is our strategy of commissioning and managing the production of our tooling and fixtures with several suppliers, including our parent company MESL.
"This continues to yield results as we are able to balance costs and lead times, whilst being able to maintain the quality of our products. The testing facilities within MWPL are a key factor in this as we are able to test all of our products for performance and reliability straight away.
"This in-house strategy realises our ambition to manufacture and supply products to the UK and abroad easily and reliably. The EU especially is a large export market for us and we are able to match all requirements specified for that market. Brexit won’t change the standards we manufacture to; we still need to sell abroad so that we can take advantage of the low pound.
"Investment is absolutely vital. We have been continually investing into the business to help safeguard our customers from currency fluctuations and we feel that we represent a great option to businesses out there who are concerned about their current supplier’s viability.
"Mark Water Pumps has recently invested more money in our aluminium die-casting lines which will help to further increase our production capabilities. This reinvestment allows us to continually expand and provide customers with first class service. In the Brexit era, if we don’t invest we will lose any competitive edge even faster than before.
"Of course none of this could be achieved without the commitment and integrity of our workforce and the passion that they show is returned by our investment in them.
"Many of our workforces have been with us for decades and have seen many economic worries come and go over the years, whereas some of our younger members of staff have seen how difficult it can be to find a rewarding role despite the talent and skills that they possess. As we continue to grow so does our workforce and we are able to provide them with increased job security.
"We are also very passionate about the local area and the more people we can employ, train and look after the better it is for the community and economy.
"Many companies have had mixed fortunes since the start of Brexit and I can only put this down to the continued belief of some that outsourcing everything they can to low-cost economies outside of the UK works. Instead of taking this action we consolidated our efforts into where it matters most; our own resources.
"Now we are in a position to take on new contracts and as more and more companies see their buying power outside of the UK has been reduced and they look to buy more in the UK we can offer unparalleled levels of safe pricing, quality, reliability and service.
"In the Brexit era more and more companies are seeing that re-shoring their business is a safer and more economical option for them. It’s not just our products that are OE quality it’s our service to our customers as well.”