Category Archives: News

Supply Chain Disruption and UK Sourcing Benefits

Posted on March 30, 2021 by

It’s hard not to have missed the Ever Given container ship stuck across the width of the Suez Canal for this last week. Whilst it appears to have been freed today, the disruption it has caused to global supply chains is incredible. This disruption is yet to be felt in its entirety but there will be ramifications rippling through supply chains for many months.

Along with the disruption Covid-19 has caused to supply chains in the last 12 months the pain and cost that this will cause to businesses worldwide will again leave many companies that rely on these global supply chains to once again review their processes.

In the last 12 months, we have been working with a number of well-known brand names as well as smaller but equally important businesses on sourcing their cable assemblies directly in the UK. Some of these businesses may have already sourced some of their stocks in the UK but are switching their focus to UK suppliers in order to reduce uncertainty and in many cases to also mitigate against soaring costs.

This story on the BBC website about how one company was being quoted £10,000 for a container that was previously costing £1,600 a couple of months earlier is a good example. Plus, that was pre Ever Given causing massive disruption on the Suez Canal. Reports of a rush for air freight in the meantime has also been reported. Air Freight is already stretched with costs spiralling due to a lack of capacity due to the ongoing Covid pandemic.

Taking all these factors into account, rising costs, long delays and increased uncertainty, sourcing closer to home can in many cases be significantly more appealing as well as more cost-effective.

St. Cross Electronics has been supplying Cable Assemblies and Harnesses to businesses worldwide for nearly 40 years. We work with many famous brands, some of which we are under NDA’s so we are not even allowed to talk about them – that’s how much trust these companies place in us to deliver the best cable assemblies from our UK facilities.

Since the start of the pandemic, we have continued to operate at nearly full capacity and sometimes above it on critical projects. This has meant that we have ensured a smooth, reliable and cost-effective supply chain for our customers with minimal disruption. We have invested in gold standard covid testing protocols to keep our staff safe throughout the pandemic and are proud to have continued to grow our business during this time.

If you are interested in how we can help your business mitigate against supply chain disruption and reduce your overall supply costs, please get in touch as we would love to hear from you.

Please contact one of the sales team on +44 23 8022 7636, or by email to sales(at)st-cross-electronics.co.uk


St Cross 2020 and Covid-19

Posted on October 6, 2020 by

What a year 2020 has turned into, who would ever have thought on New years Eve 2019 what the following year was going to turn into.  I write this update on the business as still the fight against Covid continues across the globe and businesses and individuals struggle with the fallout from it.

St Cross put in an early risk assessment for the business back in February, when the virus was starting to enter Europe.  It was clear to me it was going to affect us here and we had to have a plan and procedures in place to secure the safety of our staff and the continued supply to our customers.  We have over the recent years changed our ERP system so that it is accessible anywhere in the world and our phone system is a VoIP system so again you can have your desk phone wherever you are set up.  We sent home a few staff to test it out with success.  If this virus was going to come to Europe it was then it was paramount that certain staff could function effectively and efficiently away from the office and we could still maintain the high levels of service that is expected from us.

Being a manufacturer means that most of your staff must be factory based, home working is not applicable, but we must make the working environment safe and that meant a change.  Plans were drawn up for the change and on March 17, 2020, those changes were put into action.  Staff who could work from home did so, and distancing was implemented into the shop floor areas.  This is all common ground for us now in October 2020, but I like to think in March 2020 we were ahead of the game.  We immediately stopped visitors coming into us and stopped visiting our customers.  Face to face meetings were now being carried out over the phone or on video conferencing, again a communication method we have been using with our overseas customers and vendors for years.  Our stores staff were instructed to not sign for parcels, and sanitising was common practice for everyone.  It became normal practice very soon.

We became inundated with orders from the spread of industries we work in.  We were and still are working 12-hour days and worked every bank holiday.  We helped the UK formula pitlane ventilator project with cable harness design.  Most importantly we stressed the importance of being safe, washing hands inside and outside of work.  I always said that I wanted to be at the company Christmas party and did not want to see an empty seat there.

Being ISO approved to 9001, 14001 and the new 45001 means we are constantly reviewing the business, the practices we have and adding improvements.  ISO45001 is the health and safety standard, our assessors were very impressed with our Covid risk assessment.  This is under constant review as Covid government legislation changes and it is something our staff are very familiar with.  One-way systems, screens, hand sanitising, gloves, masks have all come about because of our risk assessments.

All our staff were given a Covid anti body test last week, and all had negative results.  Some staff members were disappointed with that, but it does prove that the practices we have put in place have worked and also that our staff are following those guidelines away from the factory as well.  Credit to each and every one of them.

Today we are still thriving but are always capable of taking on more work.  We have a great supply chain, we have a great spread of vendors, and have only lost one vendor to this situation.  We are in a great position going forward, we are still competitive on price, deliver on time and produce the quality product St Cross Electronics name has become synonymous with.

Thanks for reading and stay safe.

D Ward – Managing Director

#electronics #cableassembly #covid19


Is Coronovirus affecting your supply chain?

Posted on February 17, 2020 by

Is Coronavirus (COVID-19) affecting your supply chain? Maybe it has not yet, but will it?

Global supply chains have become incredibly complex and the Chinese economy plays an extremely important role in the global economy so there may be some unpleasant surprises in store should import restrictions and containment efforts escalate. For example, a UK manufacturer who imports a certain component or material from abroad might not know the origin of that component – it could easily be from China. However, this outbreak actually provides a valuable lesson.

Sourcing from the Far East does seem appealing, certainly on cost, but buy price alone should never be considered. If product cannot be shipped, or as it stands now cannot be manufactured at all, then your buy price and source has huge ramifications on your own performance. We are hearing real experiences where Far East manufacturers still do not have staff returning back from CNY and factories are not running to capacity. If then importing goods from this area has restrictions, then the consequences on your supply chain could be huge.

Companies must learn from this and build resilient supply chains by diversifying their sources. St Cross has built up relationships with multiple vendors here in the UK and the EU, we manufacture everything here in the UK and this gives our customers an insurance policy should things go wrong and, clearly as we have seen in China recently, things do go wrong.

If you are experiencing issues with this situation, then do please contact one of the sales team on +44 23 8022 7636, or by email to sales(at)st-cross-electronics.co.uk


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