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Glass half empty for UK Manufacturing leaders?

The 2011 Annual Manufacturing Report for the UK has just been published. This latest research report provides an excellent snap shot of industry trends and opinion.

Since the economic downturn there has been much greater recognition that Manufacturing is the key driver for ‘the real economy’. Despite this, 63% of respondents to this survey have a pessimistic view of the next 12 months.

Reflecting the very latest trends and opinions of Manufacturing leaders. This report has expert analysis from EEF, Barclays Corporate and LERC, it provides an enlightening picture of the UK Manufacturing sector

Here is a taster of the research findings:

Customers and Markets

  • 63% of Manufacturers have a pessimistic view of the future of the economy and manufacturing industry over the next 12 months.
  • Better management of customer relationships and exploitation of sales opportunities is considered to be the number one priority for many business leaders.
  • There has been a small increase in export growth, with some companies taking advantage of favourable exchange rates and opportunities in developing overseas markets – this is set to continue.

Supply Chain

  • It appears the jury is still out in terms of the future growth of outsourcing, some companies are looking to move part of their previous work back, but the majority in this survey are looking to maintain their current outsourcing levels.
  • 7% of companies indicated that they see a  ‘significant increase’ in their supply chain integration investment in the next 12 months and 50% suggesting a ‘slight increase’.  More enlightened organisations are developing long-term collaborative arrangements with fewer trusted suppliers.

Business Improvement

  • For 61% of respondents, new product development and business innovation will be a priority in the next 12 months.
  • There is an indication that some  business are not taking a sufficiently long term view of their future sustainability, less resources are  available to support development of  supply chain integration, lean and change management initiatives.
  • There has been  a significant increase in the number of businesses carrying out some form of qualitative business assessment as opposed to full ROI analysis (31% in 2011 compared to 6% in 2010)

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