Why we’re driving East to West
The route to market for the majority of UK designed electronic products and systems have sign posted diversions to the Far East, driven by the prospect of low cost manufacture, navigated by a seemingly skilled workforce and the traffic of a captive consumer market. This direction has worked for millions of products, allowing smaller companies and entrepreneurs to manufacture at the lowest cost possible. However recent years have seen a substantial slowing in the pace of this trend as the importance of good value has somewhat overtaken the importance of low cost. What does this mean? It is obvious countries like China have offered value for money for years now. Nonetheless is this relief on the company balance sheet more prevailing than the clear benefits domestic manufacture can reap in regards to quality and customer relationship?
Cubik Innovation are proud to be part of this new revolution which is helping to bring manufacture home, back to root where across many industry sectors, the UK are global leaders. We believe partnering with UK based manufacturers can yield huge value, here’s why:
The ease of communication achievable being a few hours down the road from clients, customers and suppliers is invaluable to the smooth running of a project. There is no hefty management required to pilot through time zones and costly call tariffs, meaning communication points can be frequent, stimulating a sense of project partnership between customer and supplier.
Straight forward paths of communication mean faster reaction times, problems can be reported and resolved quickly, shrinking the impact a potential problem could cause.
Good quality is second nature to the majority of UK suppliers, almost intrinsically programmed. Ensuring this quality further safe guards against future technical pitfalls and failures.
Production in the Far East can bring with it a whole host of ‘ifs’ regarding IP legalities. Manufacturing in the UK means inventors are protected against the very real fear of ideas being stolen, copied or reproduced. Many have experienced this, a notorious trap which creators have fell victim to over recent years, due to poor regulation in China. Manufacturing in the UK shields against this possibility.
Although China almost certainly has the advantage of a lower labour cost, the UK is surpassing this with an abundance of highly skilled workers entering the market on a daily basis, with educational institutions from schools to universities seeing surges in the levels of students taking up STEM subjects with career aspirations in the engineering sector.
Supporting Local Economy
The economic landscape of Britain has been somewhat up and down in recent times; supporting each other through this, means less SMEs and emerging businesses will fail which could lead to a slowing of growth and loss of jobs. In the South West of England we are extremely lucky to have a hub of innovation, a cluster which co depend and collaborate allowing important growth, this formula is attainable to all corners of the UK.
Manufacturing in the UK comes with ecological benefits. Environmental consciousness is becoming a common hallmark on everyday life as well as in business operations. Being close to your customers and suppliers helps the cause markedly by limiting this to ‘on the ground’ transportation, saving your company from pumping more pollution into the atmosphere than it has to. Chinese manufacture can often utilise both Eco harming and person harming materials which for the most part have been eradicated in the UK by manufacture legislation.
For the smaller company and entrepreneur ensuring all of these elements are taken care of right from project kick off is vital when budgets and timescales are tight, manufacturing domestically guarantees this is the case. Cubik’s production team are adept at providing this service.
As part of our full product lifecycle service, we run an extremely successful production department which undertake prototype, batch and full scale manufacture jobs for a broad range of customers. Cubik Production come with 40 years combined experience of Electronic Manufacture, the team incorporating stunning technical expertise with the zeal of newly qualified engineers, cultivating a dynamic approach which makes our team entirely unique.
Individually, team members specialise in specific aspects of the production line, automated SMT and specialist solder techniques. This high proficiency is scaffolded by assembly machinery and equipment adhering to important quality standard as well as the in-house mechanical and industrial assembly capability to produce complete ‘Box Builds’ for our customers.
Customers are also supported by an expert procurement team who guarantee the crop of the best quality components and materials available at the lowest cost, the team are cost sensitive to your needs helping you deliver your project in the most effective way.
In Production we are extremely lucky to have built a loyal customer base, customers which return to Cubik Innovation time again for the manufacture of their established products and systems.
Armortek is one of these customers; a family run business with roots in the South West of England. Armortek are the world’s leading manufacturer of 1/6 scale armour kits for military model enthusiasts, with a stunning reputation for high quality service, reliability and build quality.
“Pleasant, helpful and professional service”
Cubik Innovation have been supplying Armortek with their electronics for the past year, MDs Gill and Mark Watkins long term Cubik Customers. When questioned about the importance of ‘Made in the UK’, Gill added that “it is something we care deeply about, as it is core to our company ethos and part of the essence of Armortek”. Gill explained that partnering with Cubik was an easy to decision to make due to the “pleasant, helpful and professional service” she has experienced with the team, and would “highly recommend” manufacturing with Cubik to other SMEs. She also commented on the benefits of having suppliers close to attain a good level of communication, adding that in this sense “Cubik were very easy to deal with”.
“A local trusted supplier”
Together with our established customers Cubik are currently are working with some brand new customers like Agillic spearheaded by Harry Gee. Harry is working alongside Bristol’s Robotics Lab to deliver a low cost, ‘build your own’ robot designed to stimulate interest in robotics and coding amongst children and adults alike. Harry has selected Cubik to manufacture the electronics for this product, over original plans to move production to the Far East. His wish was to have a “local, trusted supplier to work with to iron out any issues quickly”, adding manufacturing locally meant he could access local funding to make a solid business case. The project is currently ongoing, shipping 1000 units within 10 weeks this spring.
Take it to Production!
Manufacture in the UK is becoming more and more prevalent. We want to make this the norm, for the benefit of your company, the economy and the wider world! Weighing up the pros and cons of manufacture in the Far East for your electronic product? Contact our production team and we can organise a consultation to explore UK manufacturing at the best cost and best quality available. You could be surprised!