PwC & Make UK’s Survey Shows Growth in Manufacturing Sector

Make UK and PwC have Released a Survey Which Shows Rising Optimism in the Manufacturing Industry & its Supply Chain. Aggreko’s Ruth Martin Tells us more

Make UK and PwC have released a survey which explores the modern manufacturing sector and how businesses can circumvent supply chain issues when approaching new market opportunities. The ‘Make UK and PricewaterhouseCoopers’ (PwC) Executive Survey 2024’, interviewed 200 senior manufacturing executives about their thoughts on the sector. 

Cara Haffey, Leader of Manufacturing at PwC, said that the results showed that despite the difficult past few years, there is a cautious optimism in the air for manufacturers. 

“For many, despite January's to-do list likely looming large, as the headwinds of sustained economic challenges, geopolitical instability, and steep employment and energy costs continue, the horizon seems brighter.”


Make UK and PwC survey signal manufacturing is on the rise

The Make UK and PwC survey revealed that 52.7% of executives now see the UK as a more competitive location for manufacturing, compared to 31% the previous year. 

61% also said that they believed opportunities outweigh risks in 2024 and 27.3% said that they were hoping to expand into new markets this year.

You can read the full survey here

Ruth Martin, Manufacturing Sector Manager for Aggreko UK & Ireland, exclusively told Manufacturing Digital that after a tough few years, the survey results seem to offer some good news for the manufacturing sector. 

“There is an emerging feeling of optimism surrounding the year ahead, with over half of respondents to the survey viewing the UK as a more competitive location for manufacturing, while almost two thirds believed that opportunities will outweigh risks in 2024,” says Martin.

This has certainly been reflected in Aggreko’s own customers, with many now looking to expand operations over the next calendar year. 


Ensuring sustainable growth in the manufacturing sector

However, despite this positive news, Martin cautions manufacturers to remain grounded in their expectations. 

“The growing cost of energy, supply chain disruption and skill shortages remain key challenges, all of which pose a threat to expansion plans if not correctly prepared for,” she says.

“No manufacturer wants to be in the position where they are turning down new business due to factors beyond their own control. However, partnering up with a specialist can help bolster manufacturers against these external pressures, ensuring that they reap the maximum benefit of new opportunities.

“Some of the manufacturers we have worked with were reporting lead times of up to 52 weeks for new equipment, which is no good for a business that wants to think on its feet and be reactive to new opportunities. Outsourcing power and temperature control equipment allows supply chain delays to be circumvented entirely, while also offering third-party support to integrate and maintain it.

“In accordance with our Energising Change initiative, we are looking to power sustainable growth for businesses across the UK. In practice, this means providing a greener, tailored solution for each site in accordance with its need, such as battery storage, load-on demand systems, Stage V generators, or simply by right-sizing equipment. This helps to ensure maximum efficiency, which in turn means that the sector continues to grow in a sustainable manner. If the right precautions are taken, there is no reason why the sector’s optimism cannot be realised.”


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