Manufacturers Give Themselves Half Marks in Inspired to Make It Study Sponsored by Epicor
Epicor Software Corporation, a global leader in business software solutions for manufacturing, distribution, retail and services organizations, today announced that UK manufacturing success is being held back by an Inspiration Gap, according to its new study of businesses in the sector - Inspired to Make It.
Over 300 senior UK manufacturing executives put their company's Inspiration Rating at 5.7 out of 10 in the study - a measure of how encouraged they feel about their business and industry's future prospects. Most recognize that dramatic change in the sector is needed for survival.
Only 6% of respondents rated themselves as 'highly inspired' and approximately 1 in 10 said they were not inspired at all. There are green shoots however, with the average Inspiration Rating rising 0.65% in the past 18 months and 50% of respondents claiming they feel more inspired than they did back in 2011.
A struggling survivor is how 37% termed the future of UK manufacturing, with another 34% saying it would become a niche player. In comparison only 26% see market leadership or global leadership on the cards in the future and approximately 1 in 3 respondents think it has already lost this mantle. Of those that do think the UK is still a leader only 15% see this continuing.
The sector's ability to change is viewed as critical to manufacturing's future success by 98% of respondents, with 62% saying the industry must be ready to adapt significantly or even completely. Innovation is part of future success too; 57% say that manufacturers must be highly innovative, compared to 6% who think innovation is of low importance. And aside from improving pay and conditions of employment, technology innovation is thought most likely to improve levels of inspiration. Pace of technology change is also considered the most important external influence on the performance of businesses in the sector.
72% of respondents say price competition is holding UK manufacturing back globally - this being the most common obstacle to success, followed by the Government's policy and strategy and then the attitude of people in the sector, cited by 50% and 48% respectively. UK product quality and customer experience is seen as most important in helping the UK maintain a strong position, according to 76%. This chimes with a recent IDC Manufacturing Insights white paper which states that manufacturers must work on customer experience rather than price competition to succeed and thrive.
Encouragingly the sector is keen to lead the charge for change required to improve its fortunes; respondents most frequently cite manufacturing companies themselves, rather than customer demand, the government, the EU or industry bodies and lobbyists as the driving force behind improvement.
Fortunately young manufacturing executives show a high level of inspiration and willingness to drive the sector forward. Ross Meikle, Continuous Improvement Engineer at Hayward Tyler and Winner of the 2013 Young Manufacturer of the year award, comments, “I would put how inspired I feel about working in the manufacturing sector at ten out of ten. The UK still has an excellent manufacturing base and training ground. I've been able to see the results of how something I have done has helped the business and had a real impact. There's such a variety of roles in manufacturing and you can be in charge of carving out your own career.”
“UK manufacturers definitely have a challenge on their hands and the Inspiration Gap they're feeling will need to be bridged if they are to achieve future success, carving out a strong position in the global market,” said Steve Winder, vice president of manufacturing for Epicor. “It's compelling that almost all participants of the study are frank about change being inevitable and many recognise that they must be the drivers of this, through innovation, technology and talent. This attitude, along with the gradual increase in inspiration levels since the heart of recession, indicates that the wheels are in motion.”
The Inspired to Make It study was conducted by Redshift Research on behalf of Epicor in late 2013. 302 senior executives in a cross section of UK manufacturing sector businesses completed the survey.
About Epicor Software Corporation
Epicor Software Corporation is a global leader delivering inspired business software solutions to the manufacturing, distribution, retail and services industries. With over 40 years of experience serving small, midmarket and larger enterprises, Epicor has more than 20,000 customers in over 150 countries. Epicor enterprise resource planning (ERP), retail management software, supply chain management (SCM), and human capital management (HCM) enable companies to drive increased efficiency and improve profitability. With a history of innovation, industry expertise and passion for excellence, Epicor provides the single point of accountability that local, regional and global businesses demand. The Company's headquarters are located in Dublin, California, with offices and affiliates worldwide. For more information, visit www.epicor.com.
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