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Nearshoring: Why we shortened our supply chain

The emergence of global supply chains that span across multiple continents was aided by the development of containerisation in the 1950s and computerisation in 1960s. Many countries such as China (via its 1978 Open Door Policy) and India (via its trade liberalisation in 1991), have made proactive decisions to open their borders. This has led to a substantial shift in global manufacturing towards the Far East.

A global supply chain is a complex network of suppliers, manufacturers, warehouses, distributors, shippers, and customers that are all connected to move products and services from one location to another. Global supply chains have long helped businesses to reduce costs, increase efficiency and diversify product ranges.

However, recent global crises, such as the COVID-19 pandemic and tensions in the Red Sea have underscored the vulnerabilities in global supply chains. Disruptions to international trade, including transportation delays, trade disputes, conflicts or natural disasters can have far-reaching consequences for businesses. Sourcing products from the far east, distant from our customers increases this risk.

By manufacturing and sourcing products nearer to their point of use, we can mitigate these risks and ensure greater resilience in our supply chains. Our agile sourcing capabilities, that run alongside our dedicated manufacturing activities have enabled us to deliver on this aim extremely effectively over the last couple of years.  It’s also why we have dedicated and specialist sourcing Hazel 4D team members located outside the UK.

Proximity to suppliers leads to quicker delivery times, enabling us to complete orders more rapidly. This is crucial in meeting customer demands and maintaining high levels of satisfaction. Likewise, increased expenditure and carbon emissions associated with long-distance transportation can be avoided.

One of the key drivers for our sustainable procurement approach has been the development of our detailed audit process. This has been important in identifying and mitigating potential risks and once again helping to make our supply chain as robust as possible. Being closer to suppliers facilitates more frequent and efficient monitoring of product quality. We can more easily visit suppliers’ facilities, conduct inspections, and ensure adherence to rigorous quality standards.

If you’re having issues within your supply chain, get in touch with us to see how we can help.

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