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Capitalise on a cosy connection with suppliers

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“I have a good technical department that does all the purchasing. They talk to the suppliers and they listen,” she says. “For instance, nearly two years ago one of the key resin components they make in Germany was becoming in short supply.

“My guys listened to the warnings of the suppliers and we were able to order in advance. The orders were taking four weeks to come in rather than the normal week to ten days. But because we knew what was going on, it helped us enormously. It even helped us to get quite a large project because we could say we could supply the material when others couldn’t.”

Resin Surfaces manufactures industrial flooring and resin floors. The company turned over £2.8m last year and employs 20 people. The business manufactures only in the UK but Wroe says that may change. “Resins are becoming more popular, especially in the home although we’re mainly in the industrial sector,” she notes. “To expand even further, which we’ll be looking at next year, you have to be thinking about working abroad as well.”

Wroe is a passionate supporter of the UK’s manufacturing industry. “Manufacturing is a dying art today in a country that’s becoming a country of leisure and IT,” she says. “I think the UK’s spirit is suffering as a result of that although I am very, very biased. We aren’t going to be able to exist if we can’t maintain the economy by making things here.”

Wroe believes there’s not enough help available to manufacturers: “For instance, we’re independent and our factory is in quite a nice area therefore we’re not eligible for a lot of grants apart from training. If we were in a regeneration area, for instance, we’d have money thrown at us.

"We have done everything independently, with no help but we’re not the only ones. We could do with some help to get manufacturing back online.”

Do you agree with Ivy? Or do you think James Caan is right when he says the UK can kiss manufacturing goodbye?

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