Britain’s manufacturing is in a bit of a slump right now.
And to make matters worse, nearly a quarter of British manufacturers don’t have proper plans in place to adopt new tech or recruit the next generation of employees.
That’s according to new research from robotics firm Fanuc.
Fanuc surveyed 200 manufacturers, both large and small, in sectors ranging from aerospace to food and drink. It found that more than 40 of those it surveyed aren’t prepping for the future.
That’s despite 89% of firms surveyed saying that being up to date with the latest technologies is important for success. A third of manufacturers also said that they rely on technology more now than at this time last year, and more than 30% of firms also said that they have plans to invest in new manufacturing tech in the next couple of years.
This disconnect between using new technology and preparing to implement it is pretty startling, especially given that Fanuc’s research comes at a time when the UK’s manufacturing sector is having to adjust to difficult conditions.
As well as having a lack of preparation for newer technologies, British manufacturers are also underprepared for staffing changes, the research showed.
24% of those surveyed said that they don’t have succession plans in place when it comes to staff. On top of this, a massive 91% of companies also said that they don’t think training their staff is core to their business.
Investing in people is key
Commenting on his company’s research, Tom Bouchier, Fanuc’s UK managing director said: “Manufacturers need to start placing more emphasis on investment in people. New technologies, including the Internet of Things and smart factories, are changing the nature of the workforce and businesses need to consider how to retain and attract talent in order to evolve.”
“The findings reveal that one of the top barriers to success for many manufacturers is staying ahead of the competition. Manufacturers can only do this if a dual approach is taken: increasing efficiency through technological innovation, coupled with a training and development programme to upskill staff into other areas of the business.”
One positive note from the report was that despite their lack of preparation, the vast majority of British manufacturing companies are pretty optimistic about what’s to come, with 86% responding ‘yes’ when asked if they were confident about the future.
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