Manufacturers: 3 responses to the crisis

UK manufacturers know a thing or two about resilience. Despite a decline since the 1970s, the UK is still the ninth largest manufacturing nation in the world. According to Make UK, British manufacturing invests more money in research and development than any other sector, and manufacturers are quick to adopt new technologies. While the coronavirus brings new challenges, it’s also accelerating this pace of change.  Read on for 3 responses to the crisis.

April 22 2020


1. Maintain Commitment to Innovation 

In every downturn there are companies that gain market share while others lose it.  During crises, 14 per cent of businesses across all industries, will improve both growth and margins*. Agile businesses are more likely to make gains because they’re able to react faster and more effectively, to pivot to new initiatives and opportunities.  

Maintaining commitment to innovation is critical. Throughout economic downturns, industries and technologies continue to evolve. In fact the challenges brought by coronavirus are speeding up change as manufacturers look to cut operating costs by using advanced analytics, automating processes and working remotely.  

2. Focus on the core of your business 

While the middle of a global pandemic might not be the best time to launch a big initiative, resilient companies will shift resources to innovative improvements in their core business. Rapid, cost-effective improvements can be made in automating supply chain processes and digitising manual touchpoints in administration functionsThe ability to gain insight from data is more important now than ever. Businesses who’ve set up their data to enable themselves to learn, make smarter decisions, and small iterative changes will be ready to scale these initiatives and accelerate into the upswing when recovery emerges. 

3. Invest in technology and advanced analytics

The truth is that downturns are part of the natural cycle of business. The last decade saw a period of growth and by 2019, global business leaders were already preparing for the next recession. Forward-thinking manufacturers are already using digital tools to improve productivity. Advanced analytics is a cost-effective way to reduce quality issues and error rates on production lines. Other businesses are reducing costs by automating administrative processes, like payroll, sales orders or invoices.   

We can help manufacturers make small rapid improvements to automate core processes, to enable quick fact-based decisions and to equip teams with the tools they need to collaborate effectively. 

Sources

* Hennik Research Annual Manufacturing Reports, 2019 

* S&P Compustat and Capital IQ, BCG Henderson Institute