Study will show how Swindon’s manufacturers can help solve the UK’s ‘productivity puzzle’

February 8, 2018

Swindon’s small to medium-sized manufacturers are being urged to have their say in a major research project into productivity in the sector across the UK.

Recent economic data has suggested UK industry is starting to solve the so-called ‘productivity puzzle’ with efficiency levels in the sector showing signs of improvement.

This comes after years of concern among economists, politicians, business leaders and industry commentators at the UK’s ongoing poor levels of productivity when compared to its international rivals.

The National Manufacturing Barometer, which is conducted by SWMAS (formerly the South West Manufacturing Advisory Service), wants senior manufacturing leaders and managers to show what measures, processes and investments they use to boost performance and increase efficiency.

The findings of the survey, which is open until next Monday, will help inform government on the type of tools and support manufacturers need to access if they are to continue the upward trend of productivity gains.

Simon Howes, pictured, managing director of Somerset-based Exelin Group – which includes SWMAS – said: “Productivity continues to be one of the biggest challenges facing UK industry. So it seems a natural step to start the year by taking an in-depth look at how our SME manufacturers are tackling it and how any measures are ingrained into their culture. 

“The questions asked will help manufacturers better understand how close they are to solving the ‘productivity puzzle’. We also intend to use the results to ensure local and national government and stakeholders fully understand some of the barriers our sector faces and, importantly, the support measures that make a real difference to companies.”

The National Manufacturing Barometer, now in its 10th year, takes no more than 10 minutes to complete and is open to small to medium-sized UK manufacturers. All senior managers need to do is visit: and answer each question.

In addition to the special focus on productivity and culture, the survey will also find out how SMEs are faring more generally, with firms invited to provide updates on recent/future sales performances, plans for investment and recruitment intentions.

SWMAS is the leading manufacturing business support provider in the South West. Through public sector-funded programmes and services for SME manufacturers and supply chains, it helps and inspires ambitious manufacturers to increase productivity, improve efficiency, develop skills and maximise growth potential.


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