What does it mean to be “Made in Britain”?

While the UK retains a strong manufacturing industry, it has diminished over recent decades as companies have chosen to outsource production to countries with cheap labour, particularly when it comes to electronics. This is not the case for GRiD Defence Systems, however, which prides itself on having a tightly managed UK manufacturing base and supporting supply chain.

GRiD is first and foremost a British original equipment manufacturer (OEM) of rugged computing solutions and we fully understand the ins and outs of all of

our products. Design and manufacture is carried out at our UK facility, and we source almost all parts from our supply chain located across the UK.

The benefits of this are twofold. Firstly, developing computers in the UK is in itself a differentiator for GRiD, and it positions the company to be close to both our suppliers and one of our key customers, the UK Ministry of Defence.

Secondly, while our suppliers are largely within an hour’s reach of our headquarters, wherever GRiD was to place itself, access to the supply chain and control over our entire manufacturing process would be of paramount importance.

It is our size, agility and knowledge of our products that ultimately sets us apart from other players within the rugged computing industry.

Why is this important?

The UK Ministry of Defence is a key customer of GRiD’s, and being placed near it is vital when it comes to supporting UK armed forces’ requirements.

Not only is a key MoD policy to buy British and invest in the prosperity of the UK manufacturing industry, but the UK’s place within NATO and its access to European markets means that we are better placed to sell into allied nations of the UK, both in Europe and further afield.

While many other companies manufacture their products in countries that have access to cheap labour and the ability to supply in large quantities, GRiD acknowledges the need for control over development, processes and the supply chain.

We design each and every component, which means we know exactly where each one comes from and how it should perform. Furthermore, they are all serialised so that we have total oversight of the lifecycle of each one.

Should there be a problem, we can identify and rectify it within a number of hours and days, rather than the weeks or months it would take if these controls were not in place.

We can then speedily retest the system to confirm that the laptop or tablet is working as it should be – testing is an important part of the GRiD manufacturing process – so that it is back with the customer as soon as possible.

READ: Inhouse functional testing: ensuring quality products every time

If this wasn’t the case, the systems would have to be shipped back to the original point of manufacture that could be in parts of Asia, for example, or problem solving would have to be carried out by somebody who wasn’t involved in the original development.

This can be a lengthy process, and is ultimately not as efficient as having oversight and control over every component and process that goes into developing a computer.

Support is more immediate, and the individual engineer responsible for the design and manufacture of a particular component can be called upon to help rectify any problems; often referred to as component-level repair. Our customers are therefore not left without their systems for long periods of time while we work out what the problem is and try to fix it.


While being close to our UK customer is important to GRiD, export is also important, and our closely controlled design and manufacturing approach benefits that as well.

There are no export controls placed on our products by the UK Government so no licence is required to sell overseas, and in fact they are classed as being for commercial use and are shipped as such.

The loading of sensitive software can of course result in a computer being classed for military or dual use, but that is not carried out by GRiD, but rather the customer.

Specifically to the defence industry, our products are free from the restrictions of the International Traffic in Arms Regulations – or ITAR – regime. This is a US government regulatory function to control the export of military goods, and being subject to its limitations can make selling technology more challenging. For GRiD, however, this is not an issue.

In summary, it is rare for electronics such as the ones that GRiD designs and manufactures to be made in the UK, as is the tightly knitted approach we take to supply chain management.

GRiD firmly believes that our unique approach benefits our customers the most, providing higher quality products and speedy resolutions to any problems that may arise.

Want to learn more about GRiD or what it means to be Made in Britain? Contact us if you require further assistance and our expert team can advise on +44 (0)1628 810 230 or drop an email to sales@griduk.com