At Price Western, we have been producing leather and non-leather products for over 40 years. Over this time, we have built up a robust supply network for our raw materials, including a majority of UK-based suppliers in addition to suppliers from Europe and the wider world. We are currently receiving a number of calls and emails about our planning and contingencies for various Brexit scenarios. Obviously, we know no more than our partners, and are working hard to ensure that whatever the outcome of the current negociations, our business will continue with as little disruption as possible.
To that end, please read our summary of our Brexit planning below and, of course, please contact us if you have any further questions.
Our manufacturing system is managed through Sage Manufacturing, which gives us daily reports on stock levels of raw materials and matches these against current orders. Orders of raw materials can be set to ‘auto-renew’ and we are able to continually update minimum stock levels to guard against shortages. The stock management options in Sage Manufacturing are backed up by regular physical stock-taking and our QA Management Systems.
In 2015, we joined the ‘Made in Britain’ group which brings together a wide range of manufacturing and supply companies to support British manufacturing companies as well as promote the products created by group members. Membership of the Made in Britain group has also introduced us to an enlarged network of British suppliers for a wide range of materials relevant to our production.
Further details of our supply network and planning are listed below, based on each type of materials.
The vast majority of our leather supplies have always been sourced at British tanneries. These tanneries use, for their core supply, UK-sourced hides. We have very close relationships with these tanneries which means we are in continual conversations concerning our own manufacturing pipeline as well as each suppliers’ lead-times and scope of supply.
We do not envisage a significant impact of any Brexit decision on our core leather supply. We only use European leathers during periods when peak production meets low UK supply. As part of our backup planning, we are currently building higher stock levels of leather hides as part of our standard operating procedures.
Webbing & Synthetic Suppliers
Our core suppliers of woven nylon (for our webbing products) are based in the UK and have more than adequate capacity for our requirements. We also have secondary suppliers in the USA and China. We do not envisage a significant change following a Brexit decision, except for the usual currency fluctuations that would affect our secondary suppliers only.
Soft Materials and Thread Suppliers
Our threads and soft materials (such as high-visibility tape for example) are sourced from international suppliers through UK resellers. The products we use, such as 3M tapes, are widely available in a competitive international market. This means that we need to allow for the possibility of currency volatility by increasing stock levels in the run-up to a Brexit decision. This is something we have been doing internally with our Sage Manufacturing software and management systems and will continue to monitor over the coming months.