UK manufacturers need to prioritise implementing forward-thinking strategies to cope with an unprecedented amount of change in the sector – according to a new report from NatWest. Future Fit: Trailblazing in the Fourth Industrial Revolution looks at what makes a successful trailblazing manufacturer and reveals the habits of the sector’s most successful leaders.
While nearly 8 in 10 (78%) of respondents said that they have the internal capability to implement forward-thinking strategies, less than a quarter (22%) have put the development of strategic plans for the next five years at the top of their agendas.
With the Internet, big data, digitalisation, artificial intelligence and changing labour demographics coming together to provide an unprecedented set of challenges, 80% of those surveyed agreed that innovation is crucial to be competitive in the next 5-10 years. In addition, a lack of innovation was cited by more than half (54%) as the number one international challenge they’re facing.
However, only 15% of companies said that future-proofing their business was top of the agenda.
In the report, future collaboration within the supply chain was cited by 67% of trailblazers as ‘much more important’ for the resiliency of the wider ecosystem, nearly double the figure of other respondents. This is despite nearly 42% of all respondents not feeling that their ecosystem is sufficiently resilient to plan for future disruptive opportunities and threats.