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Experts outline three key themes for resilient manufacturing

Digitalisation, diversification and ‘right-shoring’ were identified as the key building blocks for future resilience during an All-Party Parliamentary Manufacturing Group (APMG) panel debate in July.

Digitalisation, diversification and ‘right-shoring’ were identified as the key building blocks for future resilience during an All-Party Parliamentary Manufacturing Group (APMG) panel debate in July.

The event on 8 July brought together a distinguished panel of experts from across industry to discuss how the manufacturing sector can drive the UK through the COVID-19 recovery and weather any future storms.

Tim Figures, Director of Technology, Sustainability and Innovation at Make UK, introduced the three themes as key to building resilience going forwards. He explained:

“Industrial digitalisation has really shown its worth during the current crisis. The vast majority of Make UK members agree with the statement that digital manufacturers have been resilient manufacturers. We only have to look at the way techniques such as 3D printing were used in the Ventilator Challenge to see how technology can step in when supply chains are disrupted.”

Read our blog on manufacturing’s digital future

“Diversification is also important; really looking at how supply chains work in making sure there aren’t single points of failure where products come from a particular country or a particular location. Some sectors like automotive have struggled with that during the current crisis.”

Read our blog on resilient supply chains

On the concept of ‘right-shoring’ as opposed to ‘reshoring’, he said:

“I prefer to say right-shoring…looking at where products are made and thinking about whether supply chains could be shortened to make them more resilient. Some of that may involve production coming back to the UK or closer to the UK than it currently is…but it isn’t a be all and end all.” 

Read our blog on Offshoring vs Reshoring

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