Time after time I get shocked at the prices we have to pay in the UK compared to prices further afield. In our Office we have started to refer to this phenomenon as ‘Rip off Britain’ but the problem is that it’s really hurting our manufacturing industry. As manufacturers struggle with hikes in Business Rates, Electricity & Gas prices (…the list goes on…) many things seem to be considerably more expensive to buy in the UK.
We are told by Suppliers that its ‘market forces’ because there is more competition and more demand in say Germany so they need to be more competitive than in the UK. The thing is that prices in Germany are lower – and this isn’t just 5% or 10% lower – it can be as much as 70%-80% lower to purchase from Germany than from the UK. We are able to buy through our German commercial office PGM Motion GmbH which gives us a good insight and a conduit through which we can purchase. So what do we end up doing? Well, we buy from Germany of course because it’s cheaper and we can pass these savings on to our customers – but is this harming our manufacturing industry?
Our next capex purchase will be a Manual Lathe to support our growing ballscrew end-machining cell. Dealers in the UK import these Machine Tools from overseas and sell them in the UK at much higher prices – the latest Sales Rep we saw arrived at our Offices in a top of the range Mercedes – I can’t help thinking that this not only sends out the wrong message but I do wonder how much our manufacturing companies are over spending. We traced the same Machine Tool back to the manufacturer overseas and we can buy it direct from them including shipping, duty and bank charges for 75% – 80% less. It really is a no-brainer.