Cisco UK & Ireland Blog

Flying High – UK Manufacturing Orders and #Digital Focus [Infographic]

September 12, 2016

AL56504Despite the current political and economic uncertainty, it seems that industrial buyers in the UK are displaying Dunkirk spirit. Having wobbled in July, UK manufacturing demand rebounded with gusto in August.

The Markit/CIPS UK Manufacturing PMI® August figures released at the beginning of the month are now heading in the same direction as the latest monthly retail figures, which found UK shoppers have continued to spend on since the referendum in June. These positive trade figures are a vote of confidence for UK manufacturing and the UK economy as a whole.

Manufacturing by numbers

The UK remains resolutely reliant on the performance of its manufacturing industries. While we’re no longer a nation of dark satanic mills, and blue-collar workers are more likely to toil away in a call centre than a factory, there’s no escaping the cold, hard facts of UK manufacturing today, which, according to The Manufacturer represents:

  • 11% of UK GVA (versus 5% for retail)
  • 54% of UK exports
  • Directly employs 2.6 million people

Mind the (digital) gap

So, manufacturing still matters in the UK. Yet the nation that drove innovation in the first industrial revolutions is currently lagging behind much of the world in the fourth, digital revolution that’s already underway. In fact, recent research by Cisco shows the whole of Europe is unsure of how to transition to the brave new digital world, where services will overtake pure production in value creation terms.

Great British inventors like Richard Arkwright (inventor of the water frame) and James Watt (of steam engine fame) would surely turn in their graves?!

Our infographic provides an ‘at a glance’ summary of the current status of digital manufacturing in Europe:
Digital Manufacturer Europe

On the up

Thankfully, there is definite movement along the UK’s roadmap to digital manufacturing. Industry 4.0 and the smart factory concept are top of the agenda at the many industry events scheduled for the coming months, as manufacturing leaders show renewed determination in not only keeping pace with change, but driving it.

Digital business transformation is not optional in UK manufacturing – it’s essential. At Cisco, we’re involved in many great industry initiatives and are keeping a watching brief on progress across the industry as a whole.

Watch this space for news of the latest digital developments.

Next steps:

  • Read Cisco’s perspective on how UK manufacturers can resolve the service dilemma
  • Watch our video on how digital technology is transforming manufacturing
  • Sign up to the Cisco UK & Ireland blog to make sure you don’t miss the next in the series
  • Visit our Manufacturing industry page to read more about Cisco solutions for manufacturers
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