In our series of ‘Understanding Your industry’ blogs, we explore the global trends as well as the national events that have impacted the UK Manufacturing industry and those that work within the industry, over the last month.
A further extension to Brexit, a focus on sustainability and the need to embrace new technologies continue to dominate manufacturing news in November.
Read on for the latest updates…
How the Brexit delay continues to impact UK manufacturers October saw Britain’s factories suffering a sixth consecutive month of falling new domestic order flows in ongoing Brexit uncertainty. Manufacturers across the plastics, car, aerospace, and pharmaceutical industries have all reported cutting production over the last six months in response to the threat of a no-deal Brexit. However, the pace of decline in activity did ease for a consecutive month, as manufacturers stockpiled. Seamus Nevin, chief economist at Make UK, the manufacturers’ lobby group, said many manufacturers had some form of shutdown planned, while others were engaged in expensive stock building activities in preparation for potential no deal shocks to their supply chain. Drug company AstraZeneca announced it will increase its stockpile by 20% to prevent a shortage.
How manufacturers can learn a great deal from the way a race team innovates Virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) is helping Aston Martin Red Bull Racing meet the needs of today’s work from anywhere, any workforce, along with a increasing demand for more flexibility, agility and responsiveness. Calls, faxes, emails and texts have rapidly evolved into social media platforms, multimedia messages and video conferencing, and this development shows no signs of slowing down. We now have access to many simple, free opportunities that instantly interact with each other, whether it’s in different parts of a building, the country or the world. The communication channels we rely on in our personal lives have become mobile, virtual, cross-platform and collaborative. Similar tools and the advantages they offer are increasingly being adopted by businesses, particularly those operating in manufacturing where R&D, innovation and collaboration are vital for competitive advantage and future growth. That’s why increasing numbers are turning to virtual desktop infrastructure platforms to support today’s way of working – from anywhere, at any time.
The Government pledges £56m to close SME productivity gap Businesses around the UK are set to benefit from government-backed funding schemes to boost productivity. The government has committed to help small and medium-sized businesses to enhance their leadership and management skills, and to steer more graduates into complex areas of business. The funding forms part of a Business Productivity Review announced by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and the Treasury, that sets out a 10-point action plan intended to help smaller UK companies “harness technology” and “boost productivity”. The UK has some of the world’s most productive businesses and has a strong business environment with up to 1,075 businesses starting every day. The UK ranks as one of the best places in the world to start and grow a business.
How plans to shrink the carbon footprint could help create manufacturing jobs The Government has commited £315m to explore new technologies, helping shrink the carbon footprint of some of the most polluting UK factories, in order to help meet the UK’s climate targets. Businesses account for a quarter of all UK greenhouse gas emissions, with the cement, ceramics, chemicals, food and drink, glass, iron and steel, oil refining and pulp and paper sectors emitting around two-thirds of all industrial carbon emissions. Over the next five years, the new scheme will provide funds to energy-intensive firms, including manufacturers, to invest in new technologies that can reduce their energy use. New low-emission technologies can help the UK meet climate targets whilst helping companies stay competitive, helping create skilled, well-paid jobs. The scheme is designed to help save £1bn a year on industrial energy bills and cut carbon emissions by 2 million tonnes between 2028 and 2032 – the equivalent of taking almost 200,000 cars off the road every year.
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