As Covid and Brexit hit UK imports – standard parts and components included – OEMs have been forced to respond. Component delays have impacted time to market and availability of existing OEM-designed products, requiring alternate supply channels or even re-specification and re-design. But OEMs can be reassured by component suppliers that combine UK manufacture with a robust stocking model, as WDS announces its stock guarantee programme.
Mark Moody, Sales & Marketing Director, WDS Components Ltd, explains why OEMs can retain confidence in component supply despite ongoing challenges.
With varying levels of impact, OEMs, ranging from machine builders to consumer goods manufacturers, have suffered from parts shortages and delays over the past 18 months. Combining the effects of Covid and Brexit, imports from EU countries fell by 21.7% between quarter four 2020 and quarter one 2021, as well as a 1% fall from non-EU countries, according to the National Office of Statistics (ONS) *1 .
Supply from China has taken up a lot of the shortfall, with the ONS reporting a massive increase of over 40% across all imports throughout 2020. While this is significant for the standard parts and components market, China being the major global supplier, this increase hasn’t alleviated shortages or delays. In January 2021, the number of weekly cargo and tanker ship visits to UK ports was over 20% lower than the year before, according to the ONS.
Furthermore, the challenges facing global shipping do not appear to be going away. CNBC news recently reported that waiting times for vessels to berth at Yantian’s port, one of China’s most important, have increased from an average waiting time of half a day to 16 days*2. In addition to the blockage of the Suez Canal, the Financial Times reported in August that the pandemic has brought the biggest disruption since the start of container shipping 65 years ago *3.
In practical terms for UK OEMs, this has meant both delays and price rises. The report ‘The impacts of Covid-19 and Brexit on the UK economy: early evidence in 2021’ by The London School of Economics’ Centre for Economic Performance, says that nearly 40% of UK businesses have faced a delay in stock, and a third have reported a rise in prices or costs *4 . Even concentrating only on imports from outside of the EU, the Financial Times says that there are currently 353 container ships stuck outside ports around the world, more than double the number from earlier in the year. Significantly for the standard parts and components market, the vast majority of these are found offshore of China and the far east.
*1 The impacts of EU exit and the coronavirus on UK trade in goods, ONS, https://www.ons.gov.uk/businessindustryandtrade/internationaltrade/articles/theimpactsofeuexitandthecoronavirusonuktradeingoods/2021-05-25#trade-of-goods-with-eu-countries
*4 The London School of Economics’ Centre for Economic Performance report, The impacts of Covid-19 and Brexit on the UK economy: early evidence in 2021: https://cep.lse.ac.uk/pubs/download/cepcovid-19-021.pdf
Unsurprisingly then, confidence in the supply of standard parts and components has been impacted, particularly for OEMs and designers who commonly require high volume. But for WDS, the issue is more about tackling the perception of stock challenges and delays in fulfilment, than any actual stock shortfalls. WDS has onsite manufacturing at its Leeds plant and a large distribution centre houses extensive stocks with a wide range of components, parts and machine accessories. The full-scale manufacturing operation, which includes on-site R&D, is also supported by a robust supply network.
As a result, the component supply specialist has launched a unique stock guarantee offer that provides a 10% price discount if it doesn’t hold the specified item in stock for the quantity required. In practical terms, this means that if 1,000 items are required and 950 are available, a 10% credit will be applied to the required 50 items. More than a thousand products are already included in the deal, assuring customers of availability with same day despatch, and products are being added frequently with announcements through the WDS social media channels.
To identify if the required item is covered by the availability assurance, a ‘stock guarantee’ column has been added to the product table, displayed for each individual product page on wdscomponents.com. WDS carries a catalogue of over 25,000 parts, ranging from machine and hardware to jig and fixture.
The global market of standard parts and components is likely to face continued supply issues into the coming months. Like any business that relies on an extent of goods imports, WDS isn’t immune. However, onsite manufacturing and a large scale supply chain with extensive stocking facilities mean that customers’ design and manufacturing production plans can remain on schedule. The stock guarantee programme provides this assurance.
WDS Components is the home of standard parts and machine accessories. Established in 1952 ‘Woodside Die Sinking Company’ made jig and die parts to speed up production in tool rooms, WDS Components has grown from humble beginnings to become a leading European manufacturer and global distributor of high quality durable parts at competitive prices. We supply components, standard parts and machine accessories to original equipment manufacturers, maintenance engineers, small businesses and individuals all over the world. Over 98% of our range is available from stock and can be shipped the same day from our global distribution centre in the UK, using best in class worldwide logistics companies.We provide unrivalled choice and unequalled availability.
WDS Components are proud to support some of the most prestigious engineering companies and brands in the world, who all trust WDS Components to service their needs.
We are committed to engineering excellence and continuous improvement. Our team of in-house engineers has expertise spanning several decades and is a blend of highly experienced and new generation graduate engineers who focus on the latest developments in design and manufacturing technology.
Our entire range of products is available to purchase on our website WDS COMPONENTS.COM where designers and manufacturers alike can download 3D models of all components in the widest range of formats available.
WDS Components provide solutions for customers who require a wide and growing range of high quality, competitively priced products, coupled with incredible product availability and same day despatch, backed up by easily accessible technical support.
Website: WDS COMPONENTS.COM
Address: Progress House, Midland Road, Worcester, Worcestershire, WR5 1AQ, United Kingdom