Manufacturers have never been better placed to sell the ‘Best of British’ into foreign markets, nor have they been under such intense pressure to do so. Peter Osborne reports on what The Manufacturer is doing to encourage exports, and how you can get involved.
UK manufacturing may represent just 10% of national GDP, but it’s a vital 53% of the nation’s exporting output. That is a massively disproportionate and encouraging statistic that says one thing loud and clear – the world wants we make!
Now the pressure is on to demonstrate that this is just the start of something even more brilliant. Post-Brexit, with potentially no EU single-market on our doorstep, British exporters are going to have to travel the markets of the world finding new customers. They already have a head’s start, thanks to the fall in the value of sterling following the referendum vote in June 2016, but basing export policy on the level of sterling is a mug’s game.
Long-term stability and value will only be won by exporting goods that compete on quality and service. Fortunately, as we at The Manufacturer proclaim week in, week out, this isn’t an issue – UK manufacturing is already world-class.
We also happen to be in the middle of the rapidly accelerating Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) that offers brilliant new ways to improve productivity, servitization and competitiveness. That’s a good thing – but it is also good for our competitors too.
The prize will go to exporting manufacturers who put themselves at the head of the race and work like mad to stay there, embracing new technologies, innovating like crazy and providing world-class service to their customers.
True prosperity will only come when the nation begins to redress its lopsided balance of payments, which is deeply in the red. Manufacturers need to do even more in the future to make that balance much healthier, which is why we want to do our bit to encourage the best among you to succeed in this brave new world of export-led prosperity.
You can learn everything you need to know from the awards website: www.exportexcellenceawards.co.uk
The categories you may enter are:
• Export Excellence in Africa
• Export Excellence in the Americas
• Export Excellence in Asia
• Export Excellence in Europe
• Export Excellence in MENA
• Best use of UK Export Finance
• Best Supply Chain
• Innovation in Exporting
• Best First-Time Export
For this reason, in tandem with Global Trade Review (GTR), each year we host the Export Excellence Awards. The 2017 Awards take place in London on 15 June and nominations are open. They close on 24 March, so it is vital you get cracking with your entry now.
How long have you got! Winning any award is great for your business and team morale, but to win this award places your company among the very best. This is what last year’s star achiever, F1 motorsports manufacturer Xtrac Ltd, had to say after winning the Export Excellence in Europe and the Exporter of the Year awards:
“It’s tremendous and it is testament to what we do. There’s a lot of talent in the company and we base ourselves so much on our ability to export our products. We export three-quarters of our business around the world with half of that going into Europe, so everything we do is geared towards exports. It’s a real testament to all those that work so hard to make it happen back at base. It’s tremendous. To win one award is great, but to win overall is fantastic.”