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UK Manufacturing and Supply Chains Issues


UK manufacturing is hoping to have a better year in 2022 than the previous two, but there are still issues regarding supply chains around the world. Brexit also continues to cause some problems, while Russia’s war in Ukraine is hardly helping matters.

While the supply chains issues are not as serious as they were last year, they are still the most significant factor restricting growth in the manufacturing industry. All parts of the chain are being affected, including suppliers of machinery components as well as machine manufacturers and subcontractors.

Here at YB Components we keep local stocks of vital parts such as geared motor units and gearboxes. Suppliers are struggling too in this period of uncertainty, but we have managed to secure the necessary stock to help businesses reliant on industrial machinery to keep growing as much as they can.

Supply Chains Issues Affecting UK Manufacturing

There are multiple factors affecting various points along the supply chain, which itself magnifies the problem as it is not just one or two issues that can be worked around. Gearboxes suppliers and manufacturers need certain parts which can become scarce, while the materials needed to build geared motor units can end up gathering dust in containers due to shipping lane disputes.

The semiconductor supply shortage is probably the most well known problem affecting the manufacture of all kinds of vehicles and technology. Gearboxes suppliers have struggled to supply this particular part due to a variety of issues such as skilled labour shortages and trade disputes. This is all on top of the other ongoing problems brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic.

‘Overall Pace of Expansion’ Has Been Stymied

According to one of the latest Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) – also known as the IHS Markit/CIPS for UK manufacturing – the ‘overall pace of expansion’ has been stymied by disruptions to logistics and labour shortages. Manufacturers themselves have also confirmed these major issues that affected growth during the latter part of 2021, while adding in Brexit difficulties and the ongoing threat of more Covid-related restrictions.

The Contract Manufacturing Index (CMI) by Qimtek also identified supply chain issues as the main driver behind industry’s lacklustre performance during the final quarter of 2021. The CMI noted that the lack of growth was evidently linked to difficulties in sourcing material, as well as rising energy and material costs.

Prioritising Supply Chains Reliability

Strengthening the reliability of supply chains is obviously a priority for most manufacturing leaders in the UK. However, an alternative solution may be to innovate business models to overcome the issues in ways which leave the reliance on global supply chains behind.

For now, becoming more resilient and sustainable during 2022 will mean leaning heavily on emerging data-driven supply chains, as well as advanced digital technology which could help solve issues such as parts and materials shortages.

If you need any geared motor units, then contact YB Components who are the UK’s leading gearboxes suppliers who keep local stocks ready to ship out fast and free all over the UK and the rest of the world.