UK manufacturers urged to ‘prepare for the future’

1 min read

The recent rise in shipping fuel costs will push manufacturing industries, such as steel, back to the UK. But economic pressure on the industry at home means that companies have to be ready to tackle the challenges ahead, warns Ian Morrison (pictured), manufacturing adviser at Expense Reduction Analysts.

Morrison says that despite official data signalling only a fragile recovery for UK manufacturers so far this year, there are other trends that indicate a boost for the sector over the next decade. "Premier among these trends is the fact that environmental legislation has forced the continual rise in the cost of shipping fuel which is dissuading organisations from locating plants abroad," he says. "Manufacturing won't flood back to the UK overnight, but the ball is certainly already rolling with this year's £1.3bn investment in Teeside by Tata Steel." Morrison argues that although manufacturing may well see a boost as a result of the recent environmental drive, it may also suffer because of it. Gartner analysts believe that by 2016, 50% of Global 1000 logistics organisations will be obliged to systematically report verified emissions and environmental data. He adds that, in meeting these demands, firms will be squeezed to a greater extent than they already are. "UK manufacturers therefore need to be prepared early, ensuring that things such as procurement and spend are as efficient as possible to deal with upcoming necessary environmental investment. UK manufacturing must tighten its belt not only to deal with the current challenges but to prepare for future ones." Expense Reduction Analysts offers cost, procurement and supply chain advice.