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Old 01-12-2005, 20:09   #1 (permalink)
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Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Woodford Essex
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Life change time

I've noticed others talk of going through major upheavals in their lives on here and just thought I share my own change in progress.

Over 25 years ago I started in business and have been manfacturing lighting ever since. There have been ups and downs but lately there have been mainly downs, so my business partner and I took the decision to cease trading before profit becomes impossible. The staff left today. We will be carrying on just to sell off the remaining items of machinery until the building is sold.

Why close? One word answer - China. Items we used to make a profit on are now sourced by our customers from China. Low value bulky items we could still sell but not at a sensible margin. Virtually without exception other manufacturers we have spoken to are in the same position. Many of them do not have the option to stop because of bank debts.
Our CNC machinery is proving very difficult to sell even at stupidly low prices.

To give an example - to buy cast aluminium components for one product in the UK cost 16 for a set. You then have to fettle them, paint them, add sheet metal parts, electrical assembly, glass etc etc. You can now buy the same (almost) finished product from a UK seller of imports for 16.

Ten years ago you could point to something from China and say "what a load of ****" but I have to admit the products are made to a good standard.

It is a stressful time now but I know my quality of life is set for a major improvement. Can't say I see a bright future for British manufacturing.
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