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THE LAST WORD: Jason How

Ronnie Dungan
THE LAST WORD: Jason How

Rotosound boss Jason How extols the virtues of buying - and making - British...

With the UK on verge of a second recession and constant headlines about the music industry suffering in this weak economic climate, it seems obvious to me that to get the UK out of this situation we need to support the UK economy and buy British where we can as well as increasing our exports.

We can draw on a history of design, development, invention and innovation that is second to none in the world. The perception that industry is ‘heavy and dirty’ needs to be changed, the education system needs to embrace the idea of making stuff. Rekindling an enthusiasm for engineering and manufacturing that has been lost over the last few years as we have fallen under the glamour of the bright city lights.

We also need to provide the great British public with affordable British alternatives to the products they buy on the high street. This means goods should be made in the UK and distributors, dealers and retailers should support the manufacturer by stocking and encouraging customers to purchase the products made by these British manufacturers.

Back in 1997 I did an extensive costing as to whether it was better to buy in (shut down the manufacturing) or to carry on manufacturing. At that time we were pretty inefficient but I knew what the capabilities were of my father's machines that he had designed back in the early 1980s.

They needed work and if that work was done successfully we would be up and away. So that’s what I did, focused on getting the machinery right because I thought, if we buy in the price will only ever go up!

The other important factor is that as an exporting company our overseas distributors are much more passionate about the product being made here in the UK, especially the Japanese and US customers. Looking back it is now more important than ever, so I feel extremely positive about the future because we have control.

I passionately believe retailers should be pushing British-made products where possible, which will help strengthen the UK economy. This will help keep and grow British jobs and benefit everybody.

Look at Germany, passionate about manufacturing and one of the strongest economies in Europe. The UK’s strengths and successes need to be recognised, publicised and celebrated. Manufacturing is the key to economic growth – let’s inspire. If you want to know what I think is cool about manufacturing, take a look at Isambard Kingdom Brunel!

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Tags: rotosound , jason how , british manufacturing

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1 comment

Wise words indeed from a manufacturer's point of view but try stocking only UK-made products in your music shop ...or any other any other mass market consumer segment come to that. It can't be done...not if you want to stay in business.
OK...we have amps aplenty and some drums made in the UK but what about guitars or keyboards?
Like it or not American and Japanese brands are aspirational with no UK equivalents and the past is littered with failed UK-made guitar brands. Then there's the price. We most certainly do have the ability to set up volume production of guitars for example but unless you can build them with the same overheads and raw material costs as the Chinese/ Koreans/Vietnamese et al...forget it...and that applies to just about any product sector you care to name...with the exception of strings of course!
If only it could be so.

Clive Norris

Clive Norris INDUSTRY
May 15th 2012 at 12:01PM

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