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SCiP Networking Event, 26 September 2017

Realities of reshoring: a UK perspective

ManufacturingMore and more companies are realising that overseas production is not as efficientas it once was. Factors such as increasing supply chain costs and workers’ wages make overseas operations less cost effective than they used to be. In recent years these factors have led to a trend towards companies reintroducing domestic manufacturing, known as reshoring.

During this SCiP networking event, we looked at reshoring from a UK perspective, with Julia Moore from report partner Reshoring UK commenting on the realities of reshoring, as well as Professor Jon King, from our SME Group, sharing insights on reshoring for the automotive sector.



Di Li studied BSc Information Management and Systems in China and subsequently joined WMG in 2012, to study an MSc in e-Business Management, for which she recieved a Departmental Prize for Excellent Performance. On completion of her MSc, Di began studying her PhD in the Supply Chain Research Group, led by Professor Janet Godsell. Di has also achieved a Postgraduate Certificate in Social Research awarded by ESRC and engages in teaching and project supervision work as an associate lecturer at WMG. She recently joined Birmingham City University as a Lecturer in Supply Chain Management.

Di’s PhD research focuses on manufacturing reshoring from the UK perspective. The main aim of this research is to provide greater clarity on the complexity of reshoring decisions and a rich insight into the current state of reshoring within UK manufacturing, and also empirical evidence of the moderating effect that shoring decisions have on competitive priorities and business performance. The research has been supported by a successful primary data collection with 262 responses from manufacturing companies within the UK.

Jon King

Professor Jon King started as a student apprentice with Ford, gaining a BSc in Mechanical/Vehicle Engineering at the University of Hertfordshire and working through Car Body Engineering, Truck Vehicle Engineering and Truck Body Engineering before a spell at Nissan Motor Manufacturing UK when the Sunderland plant was first established. He moved into automotive engineering consultancy, eventually becoming MD of the UK arm of the business. Jon joined British Steel in 1996 to establish an automotive engineering group, moving to the Warwick campus with his team in 2003 and becoming responsible for all applications research in 2012. He joined WMG in March 2017.

Jon is a Royal Academy of Engineering Visiting Professor in the Principles of Engineering Design and was awarded an Honorary Doctorate at UoHerts in 2002. He is a long-standing member of the UK Automotive Council Supply Chain Group, chairs the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders Automotive Components Section and sits on governance boards for supply chain improvement programmes.

Julia Moore

Julia Moore in the late 70’s was a partner in an engineering computer company, before moving to the Engineering Industries Association as Chief Executive. In early 2000 she joined the GTMA (Gauge & Toolmakers Association) and spearheaded the GTMA through six European Research & Development projects bringing technology to the toolmaking industry.

The Manufacturing Resource Centre was conceived to disseminate this information out to the industry, but also to take and introduce the benefits of the ISF (Incremental Sheet Forming) process as a short series manufacturing tool for the Automotive and Aerospace industries. More recently she has launched the Reshoring UK initiative and set up a unique collaboration of eleven (so far) trade associations to demonstrate the breadth of manufacturing capacity available throughout the UK to the Manufacturing Tier 1s. This initiative recently received funding from InnovateUK to bring this connected network of engineering technical suppliers together and provide a search and match facility to support the manufacturing base in the UK. Recently awarded the Personal Contribution to the Plastics Industry in 2016, Julia hopes that this Reshoring initiative, with the support of the partners, will provide a sustainable opportunity for manufacturers to return to the UK.


Join the conversation online during the event, tweet us @WMGSupplyChain and use the hashtag #SCinPractice