UK Manufacturing Downturn: What Solutions Can We Provide?
Like many businesses that operate within the UK’s manufacturing sector, we are aware of the recent downturn in industry. As we returned back to our factories this morning, we received news that the UK Manufacturing PMI fell from 47.2 in November to 46.2 in December. This also saw business confidence sink to a 12 month-low. While certainly a challenging time for businesses in manufacturing, we believe there are opportunities for growth and innovation in face of these challenges.
The Excell Engineering group, consisting of Excell Metal Spinning, Metamex Engineering and Air Movement Supplies remain committed to providing our customers with high-quality products and services that meet their needs. We are constantly exploring new technologies, materials and techniques to improve our offerings and stay ahead of the curve. By working with our customers and partners, we can navigate the current challenges in the sector and emerge stronger.
There is no doubt that we are in uncertain times for businesses in UK manufacturing. But, by staying focused on our customers and core values, we are confident that opportunities for growth will prevail.
Let’s explore more on what is happening in industry today!
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What caused the fall in PMI across UK Manufacturing?
As highlighted, there was a downturn in UK Manufacturing, while business optimism fell to its lowest level in a year. This was indicated in the seasonally adjusted S&P Global UK Purchasing Manager’s index (PMI). After rising to a seven-month high of 47.2 in November, staying beneath the neutral 50, December saw a fall to 46.2.
But what is the UK manufacturing PMI?
The UK Manufacturing PMI is a measure of performance derived from a survey of 600 industrial companies. There are five industrial indexes that this is based on including;
- New orders (30%)
- Output (25%)
- Employment (20%)
- Supplier’s Delivery Times (15%)
- And Stock of Items Purchased (10%)
Readings above 50 indicates that industry is expanding compared to the previous month. Most recently, December see a fall in comparison to November, indicating a slump.
As reported by the Independent, this was brought on by a fall in demand from overseas companies and firms reducing their stockpiles. This resulted in less work during December the survey found. In some cases, poor weather conditions hampering projects was also blamed for a decline in activity.
Rob Dobson, Director at S&P Global Market Intelligence was quoted as saying “The demand backdrop also remains frosty, with new orders sinking further as conditions remain tough in both the domestic market and in key export markets, notably the EU (European Union)”
High interest rates and the cost-of-living crises continued to hurt demand. Elsewhere, job losses were recorded for the 15th month in a row.
What are the wider implications of a downturn in UK Manufacturing?
There are potential impacts a downturn in UK manufacturing can have on your business. Some examples may include;
- Reduced Demand – naturally as businesses cut back on spending
- Supply Chain Disruptions – manufacturers may struggle to obtain materials and components
- Increased Competition – businesses become more competitive making it harder to attract new customers
However the downturn in demand is having some positive effect on supply chains. According to Rob Dobson, suppliers are reducing their prices for raw materials and vendor lead times are also showing a further improvement.
Prices for metals, plastics and timber fell due to falling demand for inputs. These declines were mainly centered around medium and large businesses however, as small producers saw input costs rise. Average selling price did see a rise due to efforts to protect margins. This was partly offset by those manufacturers who passed on lower costs to clients.
What solutions we can offer your business to help navigate these challenges?
Greater Control and Monitoring of your Orders
We are the only UK Metal Spinning service provider with a dedicated customer portal that provides your business with real-time data. With the introduction of this new system, you are able to monitor the progress of your order as its makes its way along our production line. We have invested heavily in a complex set of algorithms so that you can take full control of your supply chain, making better, more informed decisions.
Quick and Accurate Lead Times
These algorithms have also seen a much more improved estimate of completion times. We can now accurately factor in waiting times for sub-contracted elements of your project. For example, powder coating or hot dip galvanizing that would otherwise be completed externally. It can also factor in waiting times for material to arrive, or new tooling to be made if your project is new with us. The algorithms will also factor in current production schedules queued ahead of your order. Since June 2023, we have recorded improvements in on-time deliveries by up to 45%!
We have leveraged a combined workforce experience of 150 years in metal spinning. This means we can produce components much more efficiently with the skills necessary to keep costs down. We have also invested in our in-house capabilities cutting down costs and saving your business money. This includes producing 90% of tooling in house and obtaining a better yield from sheet material using our new laser cutting services. We also charge market prices for material and will adjust our costs accordingly.
Within the Excell Engineering group, we have invested extensively in our in-house capabilities. With the introduction of Metamex Engineering, we now provide CNC Turning, CNC Milling and Laser cutting alongside our award-winning metal spinning services. As such, we are an effective one-stop-shop solution to your manufacturing needs.
Despite the challenges UK manufacturing faces, we are confident it is yet another hurdle industry can overcome. The longevity of UK manufacturing has proven strong time and again, especially over the past 5 years. And with challenges comes opportunity to grow and innovate.
At Excell, we endeavor to continuously improve and in doing so, aid the supply chains of our customers. By offering greater capabilities at competitive price, we give our customers greater control and improved odds of success. Only by working with our customers and suppliers, can we grow stronger together.
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