Strengthening ‘Brand Britain’ crucial to UK manufacturing

Simon Howes SWMAS

Simon Howes

The SWMAS Q3 Manufacturing Barometer Report has revealed manufacturers’ experiences of buying from, and selling to, the UK.

The key finding is that 97% of businesses plan on maintaining or increasing the level of goods sourced from the UK within the next 2 years.

Similarly, 79% of firms expect to increase their UK sales over the same period. For many this is a sensible position as the future trading relationships between the UK and the rest of the world are still unknown.

It may make sobering reading, however, for those seeking to champion the UK’s exports during this period who are arguing that the firms should continue to seize opportunities around the world.

58% of firms said that they believed the provenance of UK manufactured goods helped them to win business.

This figure could be seen as good news by some, but it also illustrates the increased importance of strengthening “Brand Britain” in the minds of customers at home and abroad.

However, even for firms focussing on the UK market, challenges remain. 33% of firms said they have difficulty in providing goods at a competitive price to UK customers, and a further 29% said that they had difficulty approaching UK clients to close sales.

Simon Howes, Managing Director of SWMAS, said: “Overall, this is an interesting time for manufacturing in the UK, filled with both risks and opportunities. To benefit fully from the change in circumstances many firms will be seeking to increase the materials they source from the UK, re-establishing supply chains that have been off-shored in the past few decades.

 “Equally, they will want to develop export strategies that are sustainable well beyond the next two years, but that maximise the short-term opportunity presented by the weaker pound.”

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