The latest manufacturing statistics from the CBI reveals the UK’s manufacturing output recovered slightly in August, calming fears of a recession. However, both export demand and output remain relatively weak, with order book status “below normal”. InfinityQS suggests that the threat of a ‘No Deal’ Brexit in conjunction with economic instability could further impact the sector but believes strategic investment and talent acquisition could help mitigate any potential dangers looming on the horizon.
After experiencing the sharpest fall in orders for a decade, the UK’s manufacturing industry has stabilized, but growing uncertainty around leaving the EU on 31 October could create a difficult environment for manufacturers in Q4. As tensions between the US and the China put additional pressure on global trade, UK businesses, especially those operating within the manufacturing sector, need to focus on improving their capabilities by ensuring the workforce is as productive and efficient as possible.
Jason Chester, Director of Global Channel Programs at InfinityQS commented: “Although the latest figures from the CBI depict stabilisation within the sector, export demand remains weak and the situation could be greatly exacerbated by Brexit and volatility from international markets. Failing to prepare for these challenges could lead to further difficulties, but a careful strategy of talent and technology investment will be the best way of weathering a potential storm.”
He continued: “Analysts and pundits are making all kinds of predictions on the effects of Brexit, but in truth no one really knows what the outcome will be. Whatever happens, business will continue and therefore manufactures need to ensure each stage of their operations, including the shop floor, production line and supply chain is running as efficiently and effectively as possible.
“This can only be achieved through careful and strategic investment in both technology and talent acquisition. Innovations in cloud computing, IOT and data analytics, are allowing manufacturers to drastically improve quality, reduce waste and guarantee cost savings and these factors are vital for any business hoping to operate as efficiently and productively as possible.
“Prioritising one over the other would not be successful, as it would be pointless to spend money on sophisticated Quality Intelligence tools if no one can use them properly. Proactively building a workforce of highly skilled staff with access to the latest enterprise technologies will enhance the competitive edge of any organisation and this is the best way to secure long-term profit margins.
“Strategic investment is especially relevant for SMEs who are typically more vulnerable during times of economic hardship. Against a climate of confusion and conflicting beliefs around how the UK economy will respond to leaving the EU, the best way to prepare for any eventuality is to make sure the right combination of talent and technology is in place. Once implemented, the long-term prospects will look brighter and it could give the business a layer of resilience that is essential over the coming months”, he concluded.