Series 12 – Episode 10 – Globalisation vs localisation
Paige West speaks with John Macmichael, Managing Director of Solid State Supplies, about globalisation vs localisation.
Macmichael starts by explaining what the difference is between globalisation and localisation.
“For us, the boundaries are quite blurred,” he states. “It’s a question of growth. Where can we best spend our energies and resources to generate the highest sustainable levels of growth.”
As a business, Solid State Supplies choose to maintain a local view of the world, focusing on the UK for example, and ensuring that it’s well placed to take advantage with some of the larger customers if they’re reshoring or bringing business back into the UK.
“Often, we see that globalisation for us is very similar to localisation. So, we might be taking our business international but, actually, we’re doing it because we want to be local to the customer base that we’re serving,” Macmichael explains.
Macmichael has noticed a resurgence in localisation following the COVID-19 pandemic. He states that it was a process well underway before the pandemic, but it was massively accelerated by it. Many smaller companies got caught out in the rush to globalisation.
“I think realising that correcting a manufacturing fault or design fault is just so much more difficult when you’ve got to get on a plane and fly halfway around the world, or you’ve got to wait six hours before you can communicate with the factory where the problem is,” Macmichael said. “It’s not just the cost, it’s the communication. That was the real issue.”
Macmichael goes on to talk about what a successful localisation strategy looks like, whether businesses should be focusing on one more than the other, and what challenges business are facing around this.