British Manufacturers Must Show the World They Mean Business

Wednesday, 28 January 2009

My view is quite simple; an economy that doesn’t create wealth is in trouble.  Hedge funds and financial services just create an illusion of wealth that is only sustainable if that wealth relates directly and realistically to the “real economy”.  If most of the workforce is selling financial products, frying hamburgers, running hedge funds or in the public sector then eventually the economy will crumble.  That’s what has happened.

Manufacturing must re-assert its position in the UK economy and expand.  Britain has to manufacture more of its needs in house.  Luckily the UK still has some great manufacturing companies and those that have embraced modern technology are doing well.  I don’t just mean the plant and machinery; it’s about branding, customer contact, and the web.  Using digital technology to sell, service, recruit and show the world that British manufacturers are up-to-date and mean business.

The manufacturing sector can harness innovative design in new green products.  Look at the latest range of cars being produced by BMW.   Excellent products at a premium price built to the highest standards by an EU labour force.  Britain retains a strong worldwide position on the internet.  Being “online” isn’t just about e-commerce, although that’s a massive sector it’s about management systems, order processing, customer contact, staff involvement and meaningful business partnerships.

UK based  engineering companies that collaborate with overseas partners yet retain R & D and high tech manufacture in the UK are able to exploit the best of both worlds.  Now is the time to re-balance the emphasis on the British side of the equation.

  • Jessicaabisp

    Great point and very interesting food for thought. I’m not sure I have any clients I can replicate this with, but will bear in mind for the future. Regards

  • Roger Allen

    Thanks for your comments Vince. Zeta has a fair number of clients in the Engineering sector covering a wide range of product design and manufacture. That gives us some insight from a real business perspective. Also I was “brought up” in engineering. After leaving school initially I worked and trained in the textile industry. I then moved over to textile related engineering and progressed to export sales. My first sales territories were Africa and the Indian Sub Continent and later South East Asia.

    I know of UK companies that actually export to China and many that work with Chinese subsidaries and partners for certain parts. This can give a British manufacturer a competitive edge in world markets. The UK needs to regain its confidence.

    Roger Allen
    Managing Director

  • Vince Shallford

    Some valid points made here about online. However, I get the feeling you are talking a great deal about things you don’t really know much about in terms of engineering.

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