According to Exact, the business software provider, manufacturing SMEs in the UK have been missing out on £25 billion through missed business opportunities.
Once upon a time manufacturing SMEs in the UK were the body of the economy, even though manufacturing is still something which is very important to the British economy, the success of cheaper production costs and quality improvements in countries such as; China and others has meant that UK stock has decreased in the recent passing of years. However according to Exacts research, there are more reasons as to why manufacturing SMEs are struggling.
The study has found that SME manufacturers are missing out on £25 billion in extra revenue because they are terrible at responding to other business opportunities. In a survey of 3,000 manufacturers across the UK, Belgium, Germany, France the Netherlands and the US, the software provider found that 14% of British SME manufacturers did not respond to new business enquiries – this has been compared to the global average of 11%.
So why haven’t UK manufacturers been snapping up new business opportunities?
The research revealed a number of factors standing in their way of progress. Finding technical staff appeared to be the biggest barrier affecting 43% of British manufacturers. This is a lot higher than the global average of 32%. Getting the costs of materials and processing correct is said to be holding back 37% as is receiving payment from invoices. Finally, 34% claimed that product innovation initiatives were slowing them down.
According to the CEO of Exact, Erik Van Der Meijden “There is little doubt the UK manufacturing sector is facing some tough challenges but with those come new opportunities. To take advantage SMEs need to ensure they are competitive, efficient and provide the very best in customer service. This research highlights that one of the most effective ways of doing that is through technology adoption – whether that’s to improve production processes, keep tighter controls over stock or reduce time spent on non-productive administrative tasks – time that could be spent on maintaining and winning new business.”
Head of Businesscomparison.com, Philip Brennan has commented by saying;
“British businesses need ultra-efficient and utilising technological advancements if it wants to compete with foreign competition. We need to cement our position as a leader in areas which require a highly skilled work force, – this also means that university and colleges need to be encouraging more vocational courses. We need to promote engineering to be seen as a highly respected profession as it is in Germany. I would like see more European wide initiatives like Airbus, to compete with China.”