26 April 2017
Small to Medium sized manufacturers (SMEs) in the West Midlands are being urged to take part in the next National Manufacturing Barometer, in order to help shape future Government policy and highlight current trends and opportunities.
The rallying call, made by organisers SWMAS and Economic Growth Solutions, is designed to increase the number of respondents from 270 to over 500 firms nationally, making it one of the largest industrial surveys in the country.
It gives management teams the opportunity to feed in recent/future sales performance, plans for investment and recruitment intentions, providing a clear view of SME confidence against the current economic climate.
There is also a special focus on a topical issue and this time the Barometer will ask a number of questions on ‘maximising your workforce efficiency to support productivity and growth’.
“Smaller manufacturers in the West Midlands can sometimes be overlooked when we discuss economic performance and aspirations for the future ,” said Simon Howes, managing director of SWMAS Group.
“This is something we are looking to address with the Manufacturing Barometer and we received a great response last time with more than 250 firms taking part and providing their thoughts and performance data. We want to double this figure so that we can use the information to shape the business support we provide, whilst lobbying the Government on how they support industry.
“The survey goes lives today and takes no more than 15 minutes to complete. All senior managers need to do is click here and answer each question. We can only accept one response per manufacturing business.”
The last National Manufacturing Barometer revealed that SMEs in the Midlands had remained resilient in the face of ‘Brexit’ uncertainty, with 60 per cent of firms recording an increase in sales during the previous six months.
It also found strong optimism for growth, including:
- Over two thirds expecting sales to grow again during the first half of 2017
- Nearly half (47 per cent) of companies plan to invest in new capital equipment and technology
- 48 per cent plan to increase their workforce to cope with demand
Another key finding was that a surprising 30 per cent of respondents say that they don't know whether the UK Industrial Strategy is built to deliver their business needs, clearly showing there is a lack of visibility and understanding amongst SME manufacturers.