Today's guest blog is from Paul Carreiro, Executive Vice-President and Managing Director, EMEA, Infor
Against a backdrop of a slow moving recovery, manufacturing is back as the lion of the British economy according to commentators.
Of course this resurgence is a cause for celebration, but look underneath the bonnet and the growth in manufacturing is not quite as it seems. Rather than, as predictions pointed to, manufacturing springing back into life simply because the pound had fallen against other currencies (this was always a little unrealistic), it has earned this resurgence through hard graft, innovative thinking and a sentiment focused on change.
The onset of the economic downturn may have seen a period of battening down the hatches, but very quickly, manufacturers have responded to changes in their markets and invested in initiatives designed to protect market share in the short term, and then capitalise on growth in the medium term. This thinking and associated agility built into their processes, has arguably stood manufacturers in good stead, and contributed to the current success in the sector.
But we are by no means there yet. The key to its continued success lays in the manufacturing sector’s ability to continually embrace change and redefine ways of working to keep pace with demand.
Consider the fact that the definition of manufacturing is changing. It is no longer about raw materials going in one door and finished product going out of another. Today’s manufacturers must embrace higher value goods and services - whether that involves servicing contracts; supporting or complementing products; or offering outcome or availability based contracts for products. The next five years will inevitably bring new challenges and opportunities as markets evolve and innovation continues.
The key to success in a changing market hinges on agility, and this means people making decisions based on quality information at their fingertips, no matter where they are situated at that time. Infor is helping manufacturers to achieve this.