Manufacturing leaders “asleep at the wheel” on technology

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Over half of chief executives of UK medium sized manufacturing businesses do not feel that they are up to date with how their customers and competitors use technology according to new research.

The research, from business leadership organisation Vistage, also found that 38% of manufacturing chief executives feel that their business does not have anyone in the senior management team who is ‘IT savvy’.

The Vistage study, which surveyed almost 500 CEOs, MDs and business owners, showed that this lack of strong senior knowledge in technology is despite CEOs and business owners having a generally positive outlook on the impact of technology.

Sixty one per cent of respondents, for instance, felt that technology had a positive impact on their business’s prospects, while just 3% felt technology was making things worse for their business.

“Business owners and chief executives in the manufacturing sector are ‘asleep at the wheel’ if they and their senior team are not fully up to date with how technology is being used by their suppliers, customers and competitors – so clearly someone in the senior team needs to be tech‑savvy,” commented Vistage chief executive Steve Gilroy.

“And if there is no one in their current team who can fulfil this role, then the business’s managing director needs to find someone: there are no excuses, it’s just too important and urgent.”