In a move designed to improve flexibility and efficiency, while reducing the environmental impact of its supply chain, Worcestershire-based Essential Supply Products (ESP) (www.espenigma.com
) has worked with locally based Talisman Plastics — a technical injection moulding specialist — to re-shore production of its tissue-dispensing units from China.
ESP, which recently moved to a new purpose-built facility at Blackmore Park in Malvern, is one of the UK’s major converters of tissue products, including paper hand towels and toilet rolls.
Talisman Plastics (www.talismanplastics.co.uk
) now provides a turn-key solution, with benefits that include improved lead times and product customisation.
Moving the production of its tissue dispensers to Talisman Plastics has enabled ESP to halve its lead times, reduce stocking levels and introduce greater control and flexibility into the supply chain.
Customisation of the product to suit different markets and applications is now carried out by the plastics company, which supplies the product in a range of colours and with varied labelling, which was not feasible when the product was made in China.
ESP sales director Craig Williams said: “Manufacturing in Asia can create limitations for the supply chain. Longer lead times and larger orders — required to make shipments economical — are just part of the story.
"Communications can also be difficult, with time differences between the UK and Asia. With Talisman Plastics, we have benefitted from added value in the supply chain that was not previously possible.”
Shaun Champion, managing director of Talisman Plastics, said: “We needed to assess the mould tools returned from China in order to make improvements that allowed the full benefit to be gained from using our UK technical moulding facility.
"Our in-house toolroom was able to do this quickly and efficiently. There was also a need to manufacture a number of new mould tools for certain components, to ensure that we had complete control of the process.
"This all had to be done extremely quickly, to ensure that UK production of these units could be started before limited stocks ran out.
"Developing a close understanding of ESP’s needs through regular meetings was key to making this happen.”