Manufacturing News – Early April 2022

Almost 90% of manufacturing leaders plan to invest in technology to support a hybrid workforce during the next 12-18 months, new research reveals.

According to the survey by Riverbed | Aternity, 51% of business decision makers (BDMs) in the manufacturing industry believe that half (50%) of their workforce will remain hybrid post-pandemic. Additionally, the vast majority of manufacturing BDMs (96%) believe a hybrid structure would help them recruit talent and remain competitive. These are two key findings from the Riverbed | Aternity Hybrid Work Global Survey which explores the state of hybrid working and identifies the focal investment areas and technologies required to build long-term, high-performing workplaces.

Offering a seamless hybrid-working environment is not a nice to have anymore, but a business priority as the manufacturing sector looks to recover from COVID-19. However, only a third (33%) of manufacturing IT Decision Makers (ITDMs) say their current IT estate is completely prepared to support the demands of long-term hybrid work. This has left 85% of manufacturing BDMs worried about a disparity in network and application performance for hybrid or remote employees versus in-office employees. To address this, 92% of ITDMs and 88% of BDMs in the manufacturing industry say they plan to invest in technology to support a hybrid workforce during the next 12-18 months.


Manufacturing output and new order growth slow in March as business optimism dips to 14-month low

Manufacturers also faced escalating cost inflationary pressures in March. Input prices rose for the twenty-eighth consecutive month, with the rate of increase hitting a three-month high.

  • Manufacturing PMI falls to 13-month low of 55.2
  • New export orders contract for second month running
  • Inflationary pressures strengthen

 The end of the opening quarter saw a marked growth slowdown in the UK manufacturing sector. Output and new orders both expanded at reduced rates in March, while new export business contracted for the second successive month. Manufacturers indicated that ongoing supply shortages, greater caution among clients, escalating inflationary pressures and geopolitical tensions had all hampered the upturn.

The seasonally adjusted S&P Global / CIPS UK Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index® (PMI®) slipped to a 13-month low of 55.2 in March, down from a three-month high of 58.0 in February. The flash estimate was 55.5.


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