By Max Clarke
Manufacturers in the UK are putting themselves at a ‘competitive disadvantage’ by not offering services to their customers as well as products, research suggests.
Currently, industry is overly focussed on moving up the value chain and bringing higher value products to market with the resulting lack of focus on customers hindering their competitiveness globally, research from Barclays Corporate suggests.
The bank’s latest ‘Servitisation Report’ queried 200 UK manufacturers, with the findings confirming a widespread lack of focus on providing services complementary to key product lines.
“Manufacturing and servicing have in the past been somewhat uneasy bedfellows, with manufacturing sales teams focused on big product orders rather than time and resource consuming servicing contracts,” commented Mark Lee, Head of Manufacturing, Barclays Corporate.
“However, quality of service is often now the difference between a contract going to the service-driven manufacturing countries and one that is secured by a UK firm.
“Servitisation should also allow manufacturers to diversify income streams, with servicing providing more consistent revenue at times when orders may dip. In many ways it is insurance against a temporary fall in demand.”
At present there is a real question about the UK’s competitive advantage in manufacturing. Just 14 per cent of the sector believes the UK is a global leader, compared with 63 per cent of respondents that say the UK is part of the pack and 23 per cent that assert the UK is lagging behind.
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