Interconnectedness key to UK manufacturing success

SAP SE has launched its 'Manufacturing Success' report, finding that 2014 is set to be a turning point for UK manufacturers, with 78% optimistic about their business prospects over the next 12 months and fixing their sights on growth.

In a climate characterised by change and disruption, the focus for manufacturers needs to shift towards the customer; improving customer insight, creating value added services and becoming more customer-centric in how they operate.

In order to address this, the independent industry report, commissioned by SAP in conjunction with Atos, Ciber and Cognizant, states that UK manufacturers need to be more connected through:

  • Connecting people
    • 52% have difficulties offering the kind of flexibility that younger workers are looking for, with 45% reporting difficulties retaining and 43% attracting younger workers into the organisation
    • 71% think the manufacturing industry needs to improve its image generally to attract new recruits
  • Connecting businesses
    • 80% think that as an organisation they could be more customer-centric, with 58% believing the lines between manufacturing and service economies are blurring
    • 60% of manufacturers say that supply chain issues have negatively impacted company revenue or profitability in the last 12 months, with 47% reporting signification disruption to their supply chain in the last 12 months
  • Connecting things
    • By the end of 2015, manufacturers think inclusion of smart components in products (89%), predictive analytics (89%), development of mobile applications (87%) and 3D printing (78%) will transform, and potentially disrupt, their business

UK manufacturers need to capitalise on the opportunities this greater level of interconnectedness can bring. Yet despite this being key to better servicing customers and driving future success, less than half of companies are able to exploit the opportunities that connections between people (48%), business (47%) and things (37%) can bring.

John Hammann, Industry Principal, Manufacturing at SAP (UK) Limited said: "It's clear that this year sees UK manufacturers in a confident mood, with great optimism about business prospects over the coming year."

Hammann continues: "Improved interconnectedness holds the key to manufacturing success, and so implementing the right technology is vital. At SAP, we are working closely with our ambitious customers to help them align culture, processes, skills and technology to help deliver greater customer centricity, supply chain resilience and a high performing workforce that spans the generations."

The full Manufacturing Success report is now available for download at:

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