Planning for Longevity

2006 ended on a high after a turbulent start. Imports were dominating the industry, overseas production was disorganised, late and a total nightmare for companies looking to deliver on-time and without fines and redemption. The mass rush of 2005 to import stock came as a shock to trusting East Midlands companies, as streams of complaints were heard about disappointing production capabilities. On the back of this, in the latter part of 2006, enquiries into EMTEX for UK manufacturing came to an all time high. The UK’s reliability and performance proved that cheap prices don’t always lead to repeat sales and order books reflect this.

Filling a Gap

For years, we’ve been hearing the terms, niche, diversification, differentiation, etc, and 2006 saw a strong emergence of new businesses and existing companies actively looking to grab their patch of the niche market. Made in the UK has made a huge resurgence, and we are seeing more and more companies becoming interested in developing ethical, organic and more technically advanced products and materials. This interest has hit every sub-sector of the industry and looks set to continue well into the future, as consumers and business leaders become more ethically aware.

 

International Competitiveness

The East Midlands has seen quite some changes over recent years, but one thing is sure, imports are thriving and will increase. Maintaining and protecting the UK manufacturing environment will always be the mainstay for EMTEX, however, we need to be realistic in order to achieve sustainability. With strong links with the Far East, EMTEX are continuing to assist businesses to source and import from the Far East and recently the focus has been on Vietnam.

Focusing on Business

2007 is almost out and a clear pattern is emerging from local businesses. The start of the year was tough, with orders inconsistent with previous years, however, these have rapidly picked up and created a healthy picture for the sector. UK sourcing and order placing is strong and the industry buoyant, despite the poor retail sales due to the ad hoc temperatures. Businesses face daily trials to ensure that their companies are competitive and resilient in a sector that it so easily disturbed by threats from imports, unpredictable weather conditions and margin difficulties, to name just a few. Despite this, feedback from company visits prove that the majority of businesses are thriving, have had a tremendous year so far and are aggressively expectant for the remainder of 2007, and into 2008.

Protecting the Future

In order to move forward and offer a significant benefits package to EMTEX members, we undertook to review the level of service and support available to members. At the end of 2006 it was decided that a complete overhaul was needed in order to make the membership information more transparent for new and current members going forward to 2007. The new membership information pack was introduced and launched in April 2007. This pack has helped to bring in and retain regional members, and also pull in members from outside of the East Midlands.

Project Support

A major strength for the region has been EMTEX’s resourcefulness in securing and extending projects. 2007 is the fifth year for the hugely successful ERDF Global Trading and WIN:INIT2oo2 projects. INVACT is in constant demand for crucial support for developing innovation within the region, whilst the ESF LCBN project is helping to fill a tremendous training gap to Leicester City businesses.

Evolving to Remain

EMTEX have never been an organisation that sits still. We plan our strategies carefully to maximise the benefits to our members, and to also ensure our own longevity. EMDA no longer fully back the industry and in order to remain we have re-assessed, developed and marketed a complete range of free and chargeable services. This new range fully encompasses a vast wealth of information needed to help companies remain competitive and profitable. With a powerful list of projects and sparkling range of new services on offer, we are confident that EMTEX membership will be more transparent and offer greater clarity, now and for years to come.

Jeff Scrivner

Board of Directors as at 31st December 2006

 

Chair Paul Curtis Monarch Textiles Limited Kirkby-in-Ashfield
Secretary George Wright M Wright & Sons Limited Quorn
Tom Clark TC Threads Limited Hucknall
Nick Buckland Price & Buckland Limited Hucknall
Tony Mellors Tony Mellors Textile Agencies Alfreton
Richard Lamb Buckley Lamb Limited Sutton-in-Ashfield
John Roskalns Swisstulle UK PLC Nottingham
Iain Finden Finden Coatings Limited Nottingham
George Gunby The Shower Curtain Manufacturing Co. Limited Mansfield
Keith Chell Industry Representative Leicester
Ash Mahomed Ashfield (UK) Limited Leicester
Richard Burnet Aburnet Limited Draycott
Accountants Stopford Associates Mansfield
Solicitors Hopkins Solicitors Mansfield

 

Registered Office Ashfield Business Centre The Idlewells Sutton in Ashfield Notts NG17 1BP
Registered Number 2864917