New findings on critical plant and equipment data usage within the UK’s hi-tech manufacturing industries have revealed slower-than-expected progress toward achieving sustainability and net zero carbon reduction goals.
According to The Energy Blind Spots, a new report from building analytics specialist CIM that surveyed facilities managers at life sciences and micro-electronics manufacturers, only 35% of facilities managers believe HVAC costs are a priority for the C-Suite. Yet with HVAC often constituting up to 45% of energy consumption at these sites, analysing consumption should represent a significant opportunity to hit decarbonisation targets and reduce costs.
Despite this, only 30% of those surveyed admitted to continuously monitoring CO2 emissions, though 63% of respondents’ sites being certified to the ISO 50001 standard for energy management.
Manufacturers are increasing their prices at record levels in the face of escalating inflationary pressures which show little sign of abating, according to a new report.
A survey by Make UK and business advisory firm BDO showed that prices for the UK and exports increased for the fourth successive quarter.
The survey of almost 300 firms was held before the invasion of Ukraine and the substantial increases in energy and raw material costs, which are likely to have pushed price increases even higher, said the report.
Supply chain support and longer-term assistance are at the top of the wish list for UK manufacturing SMEs if they are to make the most of the post-pandemic recovery and the long-anticipated UK Shared Prosperity Fund.
Over three quarters of the 335 firms questioned by the Manufacturing Growth Programme (MGP) in its latest report indicated that supply chain improvement would make them more profitable, while grants to help them buy new equipment and invest in new technologies to support digitalisation would make the biggest difference to their ongoing performance.
The survey – the largest ever undertaken on the future of industrial business support – showed that management teams wanted access to specialist external advice and funding to drive profitability (68%), increase sales (62%) and to boost productivity (58%).
75% felt that leadership and management training is beneficial, whilst 83% said they wanted business support to be delivered by experts with significant industry experience, such as the MGP Growth Managers.
Manufacturing is at the heart of the UK economy – it’s a large part of its heritage, it’s one of a few sectors of the UK economy that remained open throughout the pandemic, and it will play a big role in the country’s economic recovery. The sector attracts financial and strategic investors alike, with conditions ripe for heightened investment activity, according to research from Moore Kingston Smith.
Foreign investment in UK manufacturing businesses was strong in 2021, highlighting belief in the country’s potential. The latest Make UK report shows the manufacturing sector accounted for 9% of GDP and 51% of the UK’s total exported goods in 2021. This is in spite of a challenging couple of years with the pandemic, as well as Brexit, driving a 10% reduction in output in 2020. A year on from leaving the EU, the majority of companies surveyed in the report feel the impact will linger in terms of customs delays due to import checks and changes in product labelling. Despite this, manufacturing growth is set to be approximately 6% in 2022.
The toll caused by Brexit and the pandemic are reflected in the Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI). Having dipped to a seven and a half-year low in 2020, the PMI’s rally at the end of 2020 gained steam as 2021 got underway, peaking in May 2021 at nearly 66 but then falling again to end the year at 57.9 – only marginally ahead of a year earlier. The fluctuations will have been caused by myriad factors, not least fresh Coronavirus restrictions, as well as some forward-purchasing as buyers looked to beat price hikes as inflation took hold.
The UK economy is buoyed by the incredible resilience of its entrepreneurial people. This has been greatly tested over the last two years, but the agility gained as businesses were forced to pivot has meant many firms are generally in better shape now than before the pandemic.
What is clear from the statistics, as well as our own experience in advising firms, is that the UK economy is buoyed by the incredible resilience of its entrepreneurial people. This has been greatly tested over the last two years, but the agility gained as businesses were forced to pivot has meant many firms are generally in better shape now than before the pandemic.
The UK manufacturing industry grew last month at the fastest rate since July 2021, new figures released today show.
According to the latest IHS Markit/CIPS UK manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI), February’s final manufacturing PMI was 58, the highest it’s been in three months and up from 57.3 in January.
Nearly a third of firms across Britain’s manufacturing, wholesale and retail trade sectors have suffered supply chain problems as the pandemic and Brexit wrought havoc, according to new figures.
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said 30% of businesses in those sectors reported global supply chain disruption in January, according to data from its regular business insights and conditions survey.
The number of UK businesses that export has declined in the year since the United Kingdom officially separated from the European Union, according to new data from Coriolis Technologies and the Institute of Export and International Trade (IoE&IT), which find that global supply chain disruption and the impact of the pandemic are also pressuring exporters.
The March Exporter Monitor, released by the two organisations this week, shows that the number of large international exporters in the UK has declined by almost 9% in the period between February 2021 and February 2022, versus a drop of just 3% for medium-sized firms. This, says Paul O’Donnell, public affairs director at the IoE&IT, is likely due in part to reshoring in the wake of Brexit.
Manufacturers in the North West have seen a mixed start to the year, with continued difficult conditions being experienced by the automotive and aerospace sectors with which the region has significant exposure.
According to the latest quarterly Manufacturing Outlook survey from Make UK and business advisory firm BDO, output in the region was flat at a balance of +0% compared to the last quarter, while orders for both the UK and domestic markets were low by historical standards in balances of just +10% and +13% respectively.