Innovation critical to supporting UK manufacturing growth

Future manufacturing in spotlight at university conference
Credit: Nataliya Hora

New statistics show UK manufacturers need to invest in key business systems to compete with EU and international counterparts.

The statistics – taken from a manufacturing industry survey from audit, tax and consulting firm RSM – show that over half of manufacturers plan to undertake key business systems within the next five years.

Moreover, the majority reported to be looking to invest within the next three years.

Ensuring technology is fit for purpose, using technology to improve decision making and integrating technology are cited as the biggest digital challenges – highlighting the imminent need for investment.

Incorporating new technology into the industry would enable it to become more efficient, modern and competitive.

Despite this focus, as little as 11% of UK manufacturers currently have sufficient innovation processes in place to assist them with future growth.

Without adequate organisational structures in place that deliver operational efficiencies, UK manufacturers could lag behind international competition following Brexit.

In particular, the sector could see increased competition from the low-cost, high quality East Asian products which the UK has been safeguarded from as part of the EU.

Furthermore, President Trump’s call for US trade protectionism could lead to new risks, demonstrating a greater need to innovate in order to survive.