Sector Expert Shares Key to Capitalising on UK Manufacturing Resurgence

Following reports that the UK is seen as an increasingly competitive location for manufacturing, sector specialist Aggreko is offering insight as to how businesses can circumvent supply chain issues when approaching new market opportunities.

Make UK and PricewaterhouseCoopers’ (PwC) Executive Survey 2024[1] recently revealed that over half (52.7%) of 200 senior manufacturing executives now see the UK as a more competitive location for manufacturing, compared to just 31% one year prior. Moreover, 61% believed that opportunities outweighed risks in 2024, while 27.3% were hoping to expand into new markets.

However, the report also highlights the cost of energy, supply chain disruption and skill shortages as key challenges for the coming year. With this in mind, Ruth Martin, Sector Manager for Aggreko UK & Ireland, is mapping out routes through which businesses might circumvent these issues and achieve growth.

She said: “It would be fair to say that the UK manufacturing sector has been through a tough few years, so it’s great to see that greener pastures may finally be on the horizon. That said, it is critical that ongoing industry challenges do not derail these opportunities before they come to fruition.

“Specifically, without the correct equipment, such as chillers and dehumidifiers, and skilled staff to integrate and maintain them, manufacturers are at risk of not having the capacity necessary to deal with peaking demand. Missing out on these opportunities could have a substantial impact on both business productivity and that of the wider economy, so identifying an alternative path forward in order to maintain continuity despite headwinds is key.”

Here, Ruth is advocating for the role of equipment hire to help address this charge, allowing for instant access to the latest high-efficiency technology, regardless of supply chain delays, skill shortages and capex limitations.

She continued: “There is nothing worse than having to turn down a huge business opportunity due to supply chain delays. Some of our customers have reported lead times of up to 52 weeks for new temperature control equipment, which is no good for a business looking to think on its feet and be reactive to new market opportunities.

“Equipment hire also offers a safety net in the event of an outage. For instance, when one of the world’s largest food & beverage manufacturers had a failure with one of their oil-free air handlers, we were able to provide a temporary solution while it was fixed, ensuring that the impact to production remained minimal.”

As well as eliminating these challenges completely, outsourcing also offers the opportunity for manufacturers to make some substantial efficiency gains. Aggreko, for instance, takes a unique approach to every site, ensuring that only the optimum solution is specified each time. This is also scalable in line with changing business needs, meaning that manufacturers are never using more energy than they need to.

Having an external team integrate, maintain and monitor equipment also reduces the burden on the company to do so internally, which is not always possible due to ongoing skill shortages across the breadth of the industry.

Ruth concluded: “All in all, outsourcing is the smart decision for any manufacturer looking to capitalise on new business opportunities in the new year. By partnering with a specialist, we can ensure that manufacturers’ hopes are not misplaced, and that UK manufacturing truly does have a bright future in store.”

For more information on Aggreko’s services for the manufacturing sector, CLICK HERE.

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