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Author's profile photo John Hammann

The Resilient Manufacturer


The Resilient Manufacturer

According to recent findings from the British Chambers of Commerce and Office of National Statistics the growth in Britain’s manufacturing sector is leading the charge against a triple-dip recession.

Against this background and amidst times of austerity, we asked 200 manufacturers of all sizes about key challenges and priorities they face; both now and the year ahead.

What emerged was a somewhat resilient attitude towards issues like skills, the economy and growth,testament to the industry having seemingly navigated the tough economic landscape. One particular spotlight shone on the role of innovation; 82%considered it ‘important’ in helping achieve growth in 2013 and beyond.

At the recent Manufacturing Forum – SAP’s partner and customer event – ‘innovation’ was a hot topic, forming the basis of many conversations about what it really means to the UK’s manufacturers and the industry as a whole.

According to our research, the top three opportunities for driving growth over the next 12 months are expanding into new markets with current product ranges (55%), increasing efficiency through new technologies and / or processes (48%) and creating new products, primarily for domestic markets (45%).

Such a proactive approach to finding ways in which to innovate reflects the resilience amongst UK manufacturers, rather than any significant confidence in a market upturn over the coming 12 months.

As an industry which has continually undergone periods of change and adjustment, with anything from demand fluctuation to supply-chain challenges, the ability to innovate is what keeps manufacturers in business.

Two-thirds of organisations (66%) expect UK sales to increase in 2013 compared to 2012, while 38% expect an increase in export sales. These targets are not for the faint-hearted but are a clear reflection of the collective mind-set of UK manufacturers.

Part of what has formulated the ‘resilient manufacturer’ in recent years is its ability to rid inefficiencies from the working process. With such a strong platform in place, manufacturers are in a solid position to fulfil their ambitions for growth. Its an exciting time for manufacturers, watch this space!

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