Innovation in Manufacturing & Engineering
14 June 2017
Manufacturing and Engineering are the traditional ‘backbone’ of UK industry. We’ve been creating and exporting goods for centuries. Yet, in recent years, competition from other sources has left the industry floundering; unsure of what direction to take next and what technologies to embrace. The sector has often struggled to make significant productivity gains.
Operational efficiency within the market now lags well behind our European competitors, and those further afield. Scottish Manufacturing and Engineering must learn to innovate if they wish to thrive both domestically and internationally.
With Brexit looming, the UK is going to be exposed to more competition in the global markets. Asian countries such as Indonensia and Vietnam can now deliver high-quality goods from technologically modern factories at a much lower cost than our manufacturers can. With multiple trade deals set to be re-negotiated, the UK will be under even more pressure to mass produce at lower costs.
Innovation – be it through new ideas or technologies – is the way forward. The right digital changes can help Manufacturing and Engineering businesses to become more efficient, productive and competitive. It will allow our market to keep pace with its competitors.
Recent research suggests that 45% of businesses plan to update key systems in the next 3 to 5 years. However, there is the issue of sourcing the right talent to ensure that updates and technology is fit for purpose.
So how can our Manufacturing and Engineering sectors utilise technology and innovation to their advantage?
There is a misconception that innovation requires huge expenditure. Whilst initial models can be pricy, as software and tech evolves, their pricing structure become more accessible. Think about the cost of your first computer compared to the cost now. Understanding your business needs and buying the appropriate software is essential.
Business leaders must continuously access how technology and innovation can drive growth and efficiencies on a market-wide level. A good idea is to include a digitally proficient member of staff on your board to prevent your processes from stagnating. The last thing you want is to invest in new processes only for you to be unable to update and maintain them.
In today’s fast-paced business environments, IT solutions are expected deliver the goods (quite literally, in this case) in a matter of weeks. You should notice improvement relatively quickly. Business leaders should consider a dexterous, frequentative approach to help realise value promptly.
You need to have the right people at the helm of any new technology or processes. Investing in appropriately skilled staff now will set your business up for the future. Focus on hiring new employees or nurturing the talents of existing ones to ensure that you are able to maintain and update any new technology efficiently. Attracting the best talent will only boost productivity.
If you would like to speak to me or my team about recruiting the right staff for your Manufacturing or Engineering teams, we’d be delighted to help. We have a wealth of experience sourcing the very best talent. Click here to see our contact details.
Written By Michelle McLaughlin