UK manufacturers are undoubtedly undergoing a period of change. Despite the dark clouds that are hanging over the sector, from investments decreasing to growth slowing down as a result of the uncertainty surrounding Brexit, process manufacturers are seeking to take control of their futures.
A new report from Sage offers an insight into how process manufacturers in the UK are “taking control of their own destiny” and planning for success. Below, we are taking a look at some of the report highlights and explaining why the manufacturing sector has every right to be hopeful.
1. Tech Investment
“49% of UK process manufacturers said that they are more likely to invest in new technology to get ahead of the changes brought on by Brexit”
Uncertainty around Brexit is understandably making some businesses uneasy, but UK process manufacturers are doing something about the impending challenges. Brexit is forcing the sector to think about the future and impacting the decisions that are being made. Process manufacturers are investing in new technology to help them get ahead of any changes, meet customer and industry demands and make their people and processes more efficient.
2. Talent Diversification
“55% said that they will be moderately impacted by a declining talent pool due to regulations affecting immigration”
With potential challenges to accessing an international talent pool, process manufacturers are looking at changing the way they recruit. Finding local people and those that have been under-represented by businesses up to now, such as single parents, ethnic minorities, people with disabilities and younger people, is becoming increasingly important. As a result, some manufacturers have already began looking into what candidates want from employment, for example flexible working hours, as well as investing in training.
3. Traceability Risks
“More than 90% of process manufacturers reported risks in not having supply chain traceability”
Brexit aside, the majority of process manufacturers recognise that supply chain traceability is key to managing quality, inefficiencies and the threat of recalls as they expand internationally. Tracing what goes into products is crucial for avoiding contamination, especially in industries where it can directly lead to death, such as pharmaceutical manufacturing. Consumers today are also much more concerned with what they put into their bodies, where it originates from and its environmental impact, making traceability a major factor in delivering what consumers expect.
4. Profitability Growth
“33% said that enhancing profitability is a top priority, followed by increasing revenue”
UK process manufacturers are looking to grow their business, showing that despite the current climate, it is a confident industry that is planning for a successful future. 61% said that they will prioritise improving customer service to drive short-term business growth. Long-term, 60% said that investing in technology that will help them boost productivity is a priority.
5. Confident Future
“39% said that they are very confident that their industry would be considered a leader in process manufacturing in 2025”
Perhaps most encouraging of all, this shows that UK process manufacturers are confident in the future of their business, despite its current challenges. Regulatory changes, such as Brexit, are forcing them to embrace new strategies, increase their investment in technology, update the way that they recruit and overall, prepare for what lies ahead.
Looking ahead – What can you do to prepare?
The imminent changes facing the manufacturing sector, both positive and negative, make now a better time than ever to review your business insurances and get a second opinion. Get in touch with our manufacturing specialist, Mark Slade today on 02920 855246 or at firstname.lastname@example.org for chartered, independent advice.