TR Exhibiting at Subcon 2014 following a successful show in 2013 - Stand F24

TR Fastenings will be showcasing its widening range of products at SubCon 2014. Come and talk to our team of specialists on stand F24 and discover more about how TR can solve your fastening needs.

UK subcontractors drive manufacturing growth

UK manufacturers are set to place more work with UK subcontractors and have a high degree of confidence in the strength of the economy, according to new research.

The survey, carried out by the Subcon exhibition, showed that 47.3% of visitors to Subcon 2013 show planned to increase the amount of work they placed with UK subcontractors in the next 12 months.

The strong tendency was to place more work with local suppliers. When the question was opened up to cover placing work with all subcontractors, regardless of location, this figure only increased to 47.8%.

With Subcon 2014 taking place at the NEC, Birmingham, from 3 to 5 June, the signs are that it is ideally timed to take advantage of this upsurge in business for subcontractors. This year’s event is set to be the biggest yet, with over 300 subcontractors exhibiting representing every aspect of outsourced manufacturing services, from design and prototyping, machining, moulding, fabrication, composites and electronics assembly to finishing and testing. Subcon 2014 also sees a stronger than ever participation by UK subcontractors who are expected to represent some 70% of the total number of exhibitors.

The growing size of the subcontract sector reflects the advantages that come from using specialist third-party manufacturers to produce your products.

Asked why they placed work with subcontractors rather than doing it in-house, the reasons cited included more flexibility, staying focused on core business, cost, quality and the ability to meet delivery deadlines. As one respondent explained: “We outsource our manufacturing to UK subcontractors in order to focus on product development and service, while keeping capital costs down.”

Another key reason cited was that companies are simply too busy to carry out the work in-house.

This bears out the other findings of the survey relating to business confidence.

66% of respondents thought that the UK economy would improve in the next 12 months – up from 24% a year ago. A similar figure, 67%, thought that the UK manufacturing sector would improve in the next 12 months – up from 32% a year ago.

Subcon visitors were most positive about the outlook for their own companies, with 68% expecting business to improve in the next 12 months.

Grant Burgham, Business Development and Portfolio Director at Centaur Exhibitions, the organiser of Subcon 2014, said: “Manufacturers are looking to take advantage of a buoyant economy to grow their businesses. Subcontractors give them the capacity, flexibility and expertise to help them achieve this. Subcon is the UK’s only dedicated showcase for contract and subcontract manufacturing and I am certain that the timing is right for Subcon 2014 to be the best event yet for our visitors and exhibitors alike.”



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