UK manufacturer: A View from our MD, Mark McKeown. Where does Impulse fit, as a UK manufacturer, in the current supply chain?
The beginning of Impulse POP.
Mark McKeown: “When I formed Impulse in 2005, the Supply chain landscape was very different. Most retailers and brands were investing heavily in the Chinese factories, and I was questioned on a number of occasions “why are you investing in a manufacturing startup, with China offering such a strong proposition?”
My answer to this then, and would still be now, is down to our ability to react quickly. Short lead-times and relentless demands from brands, plus the usual disorganisation of our industry, means we are still here today!”
Benefits of using the Chinse supply chain
China offers a necessary, scalable, cost-based service that is second to none. The evolution of a product that in some cases is produced at less than 50% of the price of UK suppliers has kept many sectors (including Retail) both competitive and in some cases alive.
Benefits of using Eastern European supply chain
Eastern European offers remain competitive, and the location is more attractive so as to retain a level of control in terms of compliance and QC.
Challenges to these solutions include rising costs, US trade tariffs, and what effect Brexit may have.
Benefits of using the Impulse POP Supply chain
Since 2005, we have all had to adapt, as transport and labour costs have increased in the Far East – both as a client and a supplier. Impulse operate a clear philosophy of maintaining a competitive offer, from creative to build. We have the luxury of our own manufacturing facilities, so on larger projects can front-end load from our own factory, with back-end coming from the wider supply chain (time allowing).
Our clients benefit from our ability to value engineer during the development process, and this then permeates through the build process.
We offer an alternative choice for those lead-times affected by unavoidable obstacles such as Chinese New Year – in fact, we are currently doing some trade production for a large retail Chinese sourcing business whose client cannot wait for the extended lead time due to the 4-week shutdown over their new year.
We are producing some metal free-standing display stands to an existing design, but do offer a full Creative POS Design service, which we will Project Manage through production to assembly and distribution.
So, consider your options, whether a brand or working on behalf of a brand.
Given plenty of time and good volumes, China still offers a good, cost-effective choice. Eastern European suppliers give a mid value option, but detail has to be accurate, and any checks will need travel factoring in.
If you are looking for a safe pair of hands, lead times less than 6 weeks, and more control from being locally based- give Impulse a call. We offer either a wholly UK produced alternative, or if time allows can propose a blended solution, giving better cost advantage. Either way, we will overcome the challenges presented to you.