Do We Make the Most of Manufacturing Finance Available in the UK?Made News
Comprised of Made in Group members with a particular expertise in the topic, this roundtable discussion set out to talk about access to funding and financial management and investments across the manufacturing sector. This roundtable was a part of Backing Britain Live 2020 - the August virtual exhibition aimed at bringing UK business leaders together and sharing best practice.
Meeting via Zoom, the overall aim was to create actionable ideas that will help companies to access the financial resources they need as well as better management of existing resources. Members broke off into smaller "breakout rooms" to discuss this topic in more depth, before meeting back to consolidate ideas with the rest of the group.
Whilst some attendees were quick to point out that - when comparing to many other industries - liquidity is strong within UK manufacturing, this does not mean that there is not a high level of financial anxiety amongst certain firms due to the current worldwide situation.
There was a consensus amongst some that a large number of products have not been cancelled, but instead delayed, meaning that we can maintain optimism for cash flow to pick back up from September onwards.
Many attendees were quick to point out that there is a wealth of world class collaborative partners out there for UK leaders to lean on for support with the likes of upskilling - in many cases available right on their doorstep. For example, just within the group itself, the Midlands offers the likes of WMG and The Manufacturing Technology Centre.
Therefore, as one attendee said, if firms are unwilling or unable to grasp these opportunities, perhaps “there is a skill gap not only on the shop floor, but in the boardroom as well”
Ultimately, many attendees were in agreement that lockdown has given businesses an opportunity to look inwards, and a common conclusion during this period of socially-distanced retrospection was that more “tech-savvy”, modern and flexible workers are required now more than ever. A greater understanding of the modern world has never been more of a glaring need for many UK manufacturers.
Therefore, is now the time for business leaders to invest in people, particularly those just joining the workforce, rather than jump too quickly to redundancy? Perhaps in this time, those who are prepared to be bold and invest in upskilling and reskilling their workforce will actually be the most secure in the long run.