Despite the many challenges industry is currently faced with, UK manufacturing is proving once again its resilience. With the release of Make UK’s annual survey, in partnership with PwC, findings indicate that optimism couldn’t be any higher.

Published on Monday, findings showcase a bright outlook for industry as we embark into 2024. That’s despite soaring costs, a tight labour market and supply chain disruptions. And with over 200 manufacturers, over half believe conditions in the sector will improve.

Let’s delve deeper and find out what manufacturers had to say in Make UK’s survey!

Who are Make UK and what is their annual survey about?

Make UK is the UK’s largest trade association for manufacturing and conduct an annual survey to gain deeper insight into industry. With over 200 manufacturers who take part, a snapshot into the state of industry as well as its future prospects can be made.

The survey highlights the challenges manufacturers face as well as pinpoint opportunities that have presented themselves. In this year’s survey for example, it found that a majority of manufacturers believe the UK is becoming a more competitive place to locate industrial production compared to the year before. This information is particularly useful for policymakers and business leaders who are looking to support the growth of UK manufacturing!

Headquartered in London, Make UK was founded in 1896 as the Engineering Employers’ Federation (EEF). The organization represents over 20,000 companies of all sizes from various sectors. These include Aerospace, Automotive, Defense, Electronics, Food and Drink, Oil and Gas, Pharmaceuticals and Renewable Energy. They provide their members with a range of services, including legal advice, training and networking opportunities. Make UK also lobbies government on behalf of its members and is a widely respected organization within UK Manufacturing.

What were the findings of the annual Make UK survey?

The survey published its results on Monday and found over half of manufacturers surveyed believe the UK to be a competitive location for manufacturing. That is boost of 31% compared to the previous year. This is significant as it shows the shift in mood upon the aftermath of a turbulent year caused by disruptive budgetary plans by former Prime Minister Liz Truss (as short-lived as it was). It also highlights the improvements made by pro-business policies including the “full expensing” tax break on investments from current government.

The confidence within industry has further grown within a post Brexit era with 25% of respondents believing the UK would become more competitive in relation to our European counterparts. However, concerns were demonstrated within 40% of manufacturers believing the UK would lose ground to the likes of India and China.

The biggest threats to industry includes costs, political instability, supply chain disruption and the access to skilled labor. Yet despite these challenges within a heavily service based UK economy, our manufacturing sector is the world’s 8th largest by  output. Data indicates that £224 billion of output came from UK manufacturing, with over 2.6 million people employed.

You can read the Make UK report in more detail here.

What does this mean for UK Manufacturing?

The findings published from Make UK’s annual survey certainly indicate that business confidence is growing. And this follows on from more good news published last month by Make UK / BDO that further suggest promising signs for 2024. With investment intentions on the rise, and recruitment plans ramping up , forecasts indicate that UK manufacturing will grow at a rate of 0.1% rather than decline.

Indicators are pointing towards a growing trend of technology investment and digitization. Something we highlighted in our blog post ‘UK Manufacturing: The Challenges, Opportunities and Trends’. And this will only further pave the way for a greener, smarter future for UK Manufacturing.

Manufacturers are expecting digital tech to play an important role in increasing productivity. This will mean workforces will need to be trained to harness this new technology. But it has been found only 12.5% of manufacturers are making digital tech central to their strategies. It remains to be seen what trends manufacturers will adopt and stick to for sustainable growth.

What is Excell Metal Spinning doing to stay ahead of the curve

With digital technology opportunities presenting themselves, we here at Excell are taking them seriously. Our core focus is making our customer’s journey as easy as possible when it comes to a ‘one-stop-shop’ service offering. And as an SME, we acknowledge the limitations we naturally face with resources.

Digital technology has unlocked areas within business we originally only dreamed about. In June, we have invested and integrated new software to offer ultimate transparency for our customers. Businesses are now able to access a tailored customer portal in which they can monitor in real time the progress  of their order along our production line. We have seen growing confidence from our customers who use our service and improved satisfaction scores.

Furthermore, enhanced algorithms are better managing production schedules, which has boosted productivity by as much as 70%. In addition, we have seen a reduction in pressure amongst the workforce and have boosted on time deliveries by as much as 42%. And with a digital transformation, we are yet cementing Excell as a market leader in UK Metal Spinning.

Excell Metal Spinning