Gaining a competitive edge in times of uncertainty

Faced with uncertainty, most manufacturers put plans for growth on hold. Steven Barr says this may just be the time for smart businesses to act quickly to gain a competitive edge.

From complex business to high performance solutions - Hennik Edge

The Brexit vote unleashed a wave of uncertainty on UK manufacturers, many of whom have still to recover fully from the financial crash of 2007 and subsequent recession.

Optimists might point to the fall in the pound offering a short term boost to exports, but any joy that brings will surely be mitigated by speculation over exchange rates and, of course, doubts over the UK’s future access to the EU single market.

Steven Barr, managing director, Hennik Edge.
Steven Barr, managing director, Hennik Edge.

On balance, companies are likely to think twice about investing for growth. However, lessons from the recession show that canny manufacturers can thrive in uncertain times.

The secret, then and now, is to move quickly and invest to gain competitive advantage over those that sit and wait for calm to be restored.

But what is the right thing to invest in, and how can a decision be made with sufficient confidence??

Answering those question requires the best possible advice from insiders. In last month’s issue of TM I introduced Hennik Edge, a new service that helps innovative manufacturers deal with their most complex business challenges by collaborating with experts in their peer group and wider networks of supporters.

Key opportunities available to manufacturers come from maturing Industry 4.0 capabilities, such as advanced business intelligence (BI), analytics, and smart factory technologies, which are proven to maximise productivity and innovation.

  • Strategy – making sense of opportunities and options
  • Investment – building a robust business and financial plan for exploiting innovative technologies
  • Transformation – helping people to maximise the opportunity

But to get the benefits of Industry 4.0 requires new ways of thinking and working. Strategy, investment and transformation must run together. Getting that right needs real expertise across a broad range of disciplines.

At Hennik Edge, we focus on helping manufacturers to make sense of opportunities and options, build a robust business and financial plan for exploiting innovative technologies, and enable them to maximise the opportunity as rapidly as possible.

We track market activity and underlying intentions so that we can provide bespoke market analyses for manufacturers. We use our extensive network to leverage the talents of many thousands of expert manufacturers, customers and industry supporters.

Buyers in the UK and around the world will continue to need the products that UK manufacturers make, and products they could make. Smart manufacturers will be the ones investing to get ahead of the competition.

Hennik Edge’s collaborative approach is here to help manufacturers thrive in uncertain times by making the right decisions, right now.

Dr Steven Barr is former director of the Manufacturing Advisory Service and now heads Hennik Edge, which is helping UK manufacturers to deal with their most challenging business problems.

If you would like to discuss how we can help you, or if you have expertise you could offer through collaboration, please contact us s.barr@hennikgroup.com