Over the last few weeks there have been more and more reports about supply problems at Yale. More specifically, supply problems with their door handles and letter plates.

As a company we have spoken to Yale a couple of weeks ago and confirmed that they have had problems with their letter plates as they were easily corroding – the ones bought in from China.

In Door-Stop’s latest email to customers explaining their reason for swapping hardware options, they also mention Yale’s supply problems as the major factor for moving.

So, does this bring in to question the benefits of Far East manufacturing and should British companies now be thinking of bringing hardware manufacturing back home?

Yale get a lot of their hardware from China, buy it in and re-brand it. It’s certainly a cheaper way of doing things, but as we all know, Chinese build quality isn’t that great. It’s all about quantity, not quality. The problem which has brought their supply chain to a halt is their chrome and gold letter plates and handles have been corroding quite badly according to some reports. But with their suppliers thousands of miles away, any problems are naturally going to take a long time to resolve. Should Yale start manufacturing in the UK?

I think so. For two reason. First, Yale’s reputation for quality is being damaged every week this drags on. A 100+ year old company that is known throughout the UK and the general public for being very good at what they do will want to limit the damage done to that image. The second, and more broadly important reason is that it would provide a boost for the UK. Manufacturing in this country has seen a steady rise over the last couple of years, and if Yale ever did decide to bring their manufacturing back home, then it would provide a welcome extra boost.

But we could go further than Yale. This should be a lesson to all those who source their hardware from the Far East. Don’t let this happen to you. Bring it home to the UK where you can have better control over your products and can resolve issues that may occur. While at the same time providing a much needed boost to the jobs front.

UPDATE: I have been informed that IFI are now dropping Yale due to not honoring warranties. Also, Yale looking at 15% price increases to the market due to PVD plating warranty issues. Just what I’ve been told.