UK Manufacturing Case Study: How Does It Measure Up?

Hartley Botanical UK Trade & Industry

by Caleb James on 22 May, 2012

It has been interesting to read in The Guardian that colossal technology giants Apple could actually benefit if they moved their manufacturing lines away from China and into the United States. Currently, the cost of an iPhone 4S that is manufactured in China, costs around $178.45 to manufacture with a profit margin of around 72%. This also considers labour costs of around $7.10 for each mobile phone. However, it is suggested that if Apple moved their production line to the United States the production costs of a phone would be $337.01 with a gross margin of 46.5% which would still make the iPhone the most profitable mobile phone in the world.

With more money than the United States government (and no real idea of how to spend it), it is suggested that Apple take the ethos of Henry Ford who actually raised the wages of his workers so that they could afford the cars that they manufactured. Of course, if Apple moved their lines to the United States, they would not only create thousands of jobs in a struggling economy but the move would be an act of superb self interest. With this kind of home grown manufacturing in mind, how does the UK manufacturing industry currently look?

The answer is quite complex as although there are some boosts to the UK manufacturing industry, many of the topics within the news are quite certainly bleak. Although the telling of a 2.6% pay rise within the manufacturing industry is certainly a plus, this comes in as small fodder as the current rate of inflation can be found at 3.5%. This is especially daunting to find that the overall European stocks have fallen to an all time three month low; though the same contraction is being felt throughout the world as Chinese output as seen to have shrunk for the sixth month in a row.

With that in mind, there have actually been manufacturing companies fighting their way out of the gloom and ones that have actually grown throughout the past four years of the recession. Hartley Botanic, a prestigious greenhouse manufacturer based in Woburn, Lancashire, has benefited by teaming up with UK Trade & Investment on overseas marketing. Since they combined, Hartley received a significant boost after staging a conference in the United States which aimed to help delegates forge overseas business relationships.

After meeting up with landscape artists, garden designers and garden bloggers in Massachusetts last year, company enquiries have reportedly been up by 25%, which is a massive boost for any company. The news just comes to show that although manufacturing within the country of origin is an obvious benefit; marketing and networking outside the box (or country) can have provide a huge boost for any manufacturer. UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) itself works with UK-based businesses to ensure success and company fruition in international and foreign markets.

Hartley Botanic has been a greenhouse and glasshouse manufacturer for over seventy years and prides itself in providing some of the best quality and highly innovative garden products in the United Kingdom. With its roots found back to its founder, Vincent Hartley, who founded the company in 1938, Hartley Botanic has gone from strength to strength over the past seventy years and has been one of the United Kingdom’s forerunners in the world of greenhouses ever since.

With well over thirty exciting greenhouses within their range, Hartley have made sure that they have appealed to every kind of gardener and landscape designer to make sure that they make the most out of the gardening market; because knowing their audience, is what has kept them alive.

About the Author

Caleb James


Caleb James is a financial advisor and journalist, who contributes regularly to financial blogs and industry publications.