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#Trade Shows & Events

Subcon 2017: The right time and place to find new suppliers

Subcon returns to the NEC, Birmingham, next week with the manufacturing sector on a high and looking for new suppliers.

The latest research by Subcon shows that 23% of companies plan to appoint new subcontractors in the next 12 months. And with 400 exhibitors from all sectors and across all technologies, Subcon 2017 will provide visitors with a good opportunity to get face to face with potential suppliers.

With companies having to keep a clear strategic focus on their core competencies, the trend towards outsourcing some or all manufacturing processes is accelerating.

According to the survey, the key reasons for subcontracting manufacturing processes rather than carrying them out in-house were: only wanting to focus on core competencies (47%), not having enough capacity in-house (45%), gaining access to processes (41%) and expertise (38%) they don’t have themselves.

According to the survey results, 15% of manufacturers have increased the amount of work they place with subcontractors in the past 12 months and 20% expect to increase it further in the coming year.

This is good news for UK manufacturing as 10% of companies asked had re-shored work to the UK in the past 12 months and 27% expected the proportion of work placed with UK suppliers to increase in the next three years. The key factors here were quality (71%), logistical considerations (59%), response time (46%) and cost (46%).

Subcon 2017 runs from 6-8 June alongside The Advanced Manufacturing Show and The Engineer Design & Innovation Show. Together the three shows cover the complete manufacturing cycle from concept to component, bringing together design engineering, product development, in-house production and outsourced supply chains.

Subcon is the UK’s only event dedicated to outsourced manufacturing. It serves all sectors and all processes – from machining, sheet metalworking, casting and forging, to plastic moulding, composites and electronics.


  • Birmingham, UK
  • Subcon