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Sourcing Kitchens In The UK Boosts Both Supply Chain Security And Sustainability


Supply chain crises around the globe show no signs of easing — in some countries they continue to worsen. The situation has become so disruptive that the European Commission reportedly wants the power to force companies to fulfil EU orders first.

However, the impact of disrupted global supply chains is far less disruptive for a company that manufactures products in the UK to sell in the UK. On top of this, the environmental benefits to sourcing goods from domestic producers are increasing the appeal of such products to both landlords and their tenants.

“Considering recent global events, ‘made in the UK’ has become more prevalent than ever before,” kitchen manufacturer Omega PLC Contract Sales Director John Cahill said. “It is on most consumers’ radars when looking to invest in new products and is an area that could be emphasised more within the new housing market.”

Omega has long been manufacturing and supplying kitchens in the UK from its base in Yorkshire. Cahill said that this is increasingly on the radar of developers of residential blocks, as well as homeowners.

“We believe customers are coming to Omega for several reasons, one being global supply chain issues,” Cahill said. “New customers to Omega have had numerous examples of missing construction or completion deadlines due to the lack of availability of products that have been put on extended lead times from mainland Europe.”

Cahill said that sourcing products in the UK provides greater security for the supply chain at a time of real uncertainty. Given factors affecting the market such as the Russia-Ukraine War and fluctuating energy prices, a domestic supply chain allows Omega to respond quickly to any issues, as well as work to shorter lead times in general.

A second reason customers are interested in Omega’s UK manufacturing capabilities is the growing desire to support British businesses, Cahill said. The message that a kitchen is manufactured in the UK is one that a developer or landlord of a residential block could pass on to potential residents.

“There is a tendency to assume there is a lack of investment in UK manufacturing but at Omega, we have invested over £20M in the last few years to ensure we can deliver the best product to the market and maximise capacity,” he said. “We continue to invest back into the local community of Thorne, South Yorkshire, where Omega is based with a predominantly local labour force.”

A third reason to go for a UK-produced product is sustainability. This is becoming as much of a deciding factor as cost.

“As more businesses rightly measure their carbon emissions, importing from Europe is no longer an acceptable solution,” Cahill said. “This move towards measurability regarding sustainability should prompt a shift away from everything being based on cost. We are at a point where ESG is considered a priority not unlike the profile of customer care.”

Landlords and developers are facing pressure to increase the sustainability of products they choose, as well as the method of sourcing them. Compounding this, residents themselves increasingly consider sustainability when making purchasing decisions.

“Sustainable sourcing of materials has been part of Omega’s procurement process for some time now,” Cahill said. “We focus on ensuring we continue to offer the best fit-for-purpose materials whilst lowering the environmental impact.”

Omega recently launched a range of 100% recycled doors, while its kitchen carcasses are already made using more than 50% recycled wooden byproducts from other industries. The business is increasingly using water-based paints and aims to stop using solvent paints by 2025. Plastic packaging is increasingly being replaced by recyclable cardboard and paper tape.

A challenge for Omega is to continually find new ways to deliver maximum capacity while reducing energy use. The firm continues to innovate in this area, and even as orders increase, it remains committed to improving practices, Cahill said. Though the challenges facing supply chains might ease over time, it’s unlikely that the need to improve sustainability will change for anyone.   

This article was produced in collaboration between Omega PLC and Studio B. Bisnow news staff was not involved in the production of this content.

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