As Theresa May proposes an extension to the Article 50 process to the House of Commons, business leaders are in despair about the impact the Brexit impasse is having on manufacturers. The longer the delay, the longer businesses are holding back on investment in technology to boost productivity. Yet savvy manufacturers will see the delay as an opportunity to build their digital resilience and implement ERP solutions which will put them on a stronger footing to compete on the global stage.
Employment levels are at a record high and you might be forgiven for thinking that indicates the UK economy is in good health. Yet it simply indicates that employers are spending money on recruitment rather than investing in long-term technological solutions. They are, as it is known in the industry, throwing bodies at the problem.
Simply employing more people is failing to address the productivity gap – perhaps our greatest economic challenge.
According to the latest figures from ONS, the productivity growth of British workers slumped to a two-year low in the third quarter of 2018. On average, UK employees produce 30% less per hour than those in France, Germany and the US.
The answer to our productivity dilemma is in employing new systems and processes rather than people. The government’s Made Smarter Review stated that adopting digital technology could increase productivity by more than 25% by 2025.
Darren Edwards, Head of Sales Enablement at ERP provider K3 Syspro, said: “At the heart of that is the implementation of Enterprise Resource Planning. An effective ERP system should form the backbone of any modern manufacturing operation. Data is king and only by being able to access, analyse and act upon key information, can business leaders make strategic decisions.”
The clock is ticking
There has never been a better time to embark on the digital journey. Brussels has agreed to grant the UK a 3-month extension to Article 50, if the Prime Minister’s deal can get through the House of Commons, so there is no time to lose in using technology to make businesses more resilient.
A centralised ERP system provides full visibility of an operation’s inner workings. Only with that insight can business leaders interpret and analyse information to form the basis of sound strategic decisions.
Empowered with that knowledge, manufacturers can concentrate on becoming fitter and leaner to compete in post-Brexit Britain.
Last Thursday (21st March) Stephen Phipson Chief Executive of Make UK (formerly EEF) told Radio 4’s Today programme that: “Around 70% of them (manufacturing members) have put investment decisions on hold…until we get some clarity about where we are heading.”
The truth is that we don’t know when that clarity will come.
K3’s Darren Edwards said: “Manufacturers need to act now and make a bold move by investing in their digital resilience. At K3 Syspro, we have 40 years of experience developing ERP systems which are designed specifically to meet the needs of manufacturers and help future-proof their operations. Those looking for cost effective solutions should come and talk to us.”
ERP systems can revolutionise the way people work, automating mundane tasks, facilitating joined-up working and driving tangible gains in productivity.
K3 can deliver a new ERP system to SMEs within 6 months, with seamless migration from a manufacturer’s existing systems. Its tools and utilities are designed to be user-friendly, whilst SYSPRO’s integration capabilities means companies will see a speedy return on investment.
Edwards adds: “Many of our most successful manufacturing customers invested at times of uncertainty like this. Businesses need to equip themselves with all the powers they need to confront the unpredictable and perform to their greatest potential.”
Recent K3 project wins include needle-manufacturer Entaco, electric components distributor Europa Components and flexible isolator manufacturer, Solo Containment
Solo Containment’s General Manager, Nigel Pegram, said: “It’s like looking into a box of delights- we’re always coming across new useful functions. It’s an exciting time and we look forward to working with K3 on helping our business embrace the next stage of growth.”
As the Brexit ordeal continues, it is impossible to predict what lies in store. The best manufacturers can do is build their resilience and embrace digitalisation to ensure they are in the best possible shape to face the battles and exploit the opportunities ahead.