Meeting demand in an evolving market
Manufacturing in the UK reached a record low in April this year due of course to the global pandemic. However, lack of investment and four years of Brexit uncertainty has also taken its toll on the market. Yale explains how it is bucking the trend by sticking to its roots and committing to UK manufacturing in a rapidly evolving industry.
According to a survey by industry trade body EEF, investment by UK manufacturers in new plant and machinery slowed to 6.5% of turnover from 7.5% in 2016.
This is a trend that has continued into 2020, with the effects over the UK’s exit from the EU and a nationwide lockdown holding back planned investment in many cases.
Yale, however, has continued to invest in UK manufacturing to the benefit of its customers and supply chain, particularly over the past few months.
During the first half of the year, Yale continued to operate, albeit at an reduced level, to ensure a productive yet safe working environment for employees, and manageable progression in the supply chain. All the while preparing its operations and functionality for a post lockdown era, rapidly gearing up for higher volumes.
Now that lockdown is in transition, the brand has quickly seen an increase in demand for hardware to remarkable levels. Fortunately, the majority of the brand’s products are manufactured in the UK and these short supply chains are inherently strong and flexible which, in turn, has allowed Yale to adjust its operations to meet market demand and customer requirements.
The company has continued to invest in automation at both its Willenhall and Cheltenham sites, allowing it to bring product manufacturing back to the UK from overseas.
This return of manufacturing brings with it the close quality control measures that Yale prides itself on, with both sites accredited to EN ISO 9001:2015 for quality management, and contributing to the rising quality standards in UK industry.
Yale has also recently expanded its warehouse to 254,008ft2, approximately four times the size of the previous building, and moved to a more UK central location to help provide best-in-class services.
In recent months, the brand has seen its multipoint lock demand increase far above pre-lockdown numbers. The UK’s best-selling range of multi-point door locking systems, Yale’s Lockmaster, is manufactured on British soil, enabling the brand to respond much faster than had the locks come in from overseas.
Last year, Yale began introducing its Lockmaster door lock customers over to its more recent Lockmaster 21. The decades-old lock range has been enhanced to be PAS24: 2016 compliant as standard, with sleek aesthetics and a new push-in latch/snib feature for consumer convenience. This change has left many at Yale reminiscing on their time working with the brand, including sales and commercial director Paul Atkinson, who was among the first to sell the original Lockmaster sample locks 27 years ago and has sold them consistently since.
The innovation continues, as products are in an advance stage of development to make the standard Lockmaster multi-point door lock a smart product along with patio, bifold and window locks.
In recent years, the market has been evolving to where new doors are now very much an aspirational purchase for consumers, driven by aesthetics and desire rather than just a distress purchase. To stay ahead of the change in door styles and trends, Yale has introduced a wide range of new multipoint locks including its AutoEngage designed for lever-less composite doors, Lockmaster 28mm for slim sash bifolding doors and stable door multi point locks.
As the market continues to evolve with a variety of trends here to stay, Yale’s team of technical experts have been working on new product developments to ensure the brand continues to meet market demand and customer requirements.