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UK manufacturers feeling 'uninspired' as they tackle technology innovation

Antony Savvas | March 10, 2014
UK manufacturing executives feel "uninspired" as they seek to use technology to get themselves out of the doldrums, according to research commissioned by manufacturing software provider Epicor Software.

UK manufacturing executives feel "uninspired" as they seek to use technology to get themselves out of the doldrums, according to research commissioned by manufacturing software provider Epicor Software.

Epicor said manufacturers needed to "bridge a damaging 'inspiration gap' with technology-led change".

Epicor commissioned research among over 300 senior industry executives, who scored their "inspiration rating" at just 5.7 out of 10, not particularly high for those supposed to be leading the business.

Those same executives said technology-led change is the top factor, alongside pay rises, that will help them become better inspired about their business.

Innovation was seen as critical to manufacturing's future success, with 57 percent saying high levels of innovation are required, and 98 percent maintaining change "has to happen". In addition, 62 percent think the industry has to "adapt significantly or even completely to survive".

The pace of technology development is considered the top external influence on the performance of manufacturing companies.

But only 17 percent of the manufacturing companies surveyed have adopted cloud technology. However, this is set to double in the next 18 months as "an investment priority". Other priority technology investments include procurement, logistics and distribution, ERP and collaboration.

UK manufacturing executives though seem to get more inspired by "older" technology and devices rather than newer ones. In the survey 28 percent said their laptop was where they accessed inspiration and 27 percent said it was their desktop PC that floated their boat.

This compares with only 17 percent who are inspired by smartphones, and 14 percent by tablets.

"UK manufacturers definitely have a challenge on their hands and the inspiration gap they're feeling will need to be bridged through technology innovation, if they are to achieve future success and carve out a strong position in the market," said Steve Winder, vice president of manufacturing at Epicor.

 

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