I was pleasantly surprised to read a report from NatWest, ‘FutureFit: the road ahead for UK Manufacturing’ which chimes with many of our
experiences of working with a range of UK SME’s over the past twenty years.As the Mark Twain quote goes ‘rumours of my death are
grossly exaggerated’ could be applied to UK Manufacturing. As the Mark Twain quote goes ‘rumours of my death are
grossly exaggerated’ could be applied to UK Manufacturing. We have a national
preoccupation with the demise of manufacturing in the UK, but it might be
surprising to some of you to know we are still the 10th largest
manufacturing country out of 200.
We may well be moving towards a tipping point such as
described by proponents’ of Industry 4.0 and it is incumbent on all supporters
of Manufacturing, be it central and local government, banking, universities or
consultancies to work together to ensure the wealth creators in manufacturing remain
a key ingredient of the future UK Plc.
SME’s today are facing an array of threats and opportunities
some of which they have heard of but no real plan on how to build them into
their forward plans. Here are just a few of the buzzwords doing the rounds at
the moment. It might be worth using this as an exercise to understand where you
are today and where you’d like to be in the future?
Perhaps the first step for manufacturers is to understand
the wealth of new opportunities that are out there, both domestically and
internationally and then make plans to tap into those which make sense in the
world for the next 3-5-10 years. Events such as BIS’s ‘meet the buyers’; speed
dating style business events where hundreds of people turn up could be a good
place to start.
Manufacturers however hold the key to decide do they want to
become a Frontrunner, a Follower or a Firefighter?
Their future depends on which route they take before it’s
decided for them.