New report reveals how creativity and technology are driving a manufacturing agility uptick in 2023

Posted on 11 Oct 2023 by James Devonshire

A new report has revealed how manufacturers are leveraging creativity and technology to boost their agility.

The 2023 Manufacturing Agility Assessment, researched and produced by The Manufacturer in partnership with HSO, shows there has been an uptick in manufacturing agility over the last 12 months. Indeed, 56% of companies say they are now “extremely” or “highly” agile. And considering SMEs make up half (49%) of this year’s survey respondents, it paints a positive picture of the state of these smaller organisations, often referred to as the UK’s lifeblood.

Faced with a raft of significant challenges, many manufacturing organisations have changed the way they manage their supply chains and how they interact with customers. For the third successive year, more than half (53%) of manufacturers say they are still struggling to source raw materials/components from suppliers. As a result, 38% say they have been impacted when it comes to fulfilling customer orders. To mitigate this, 66% of organisations have diversified their suppliers, the number one strategy undertaken to mitigate the impact of global events.

In terms of talent, many manufacturing organisations are focusing their efforts on retaining the good people they already have. Manufacturers say it makes more sense – both financially and in terms of effort – to concentrate on keeping the people who really matter to them. And they’ve seen some great results, with both staff turnover and employee morale improving.

Commenting on the report, James Devonshire, International Reporter for Hennik Research, part of Nineteen Group, and author of the report, said: “For me, one factor stands out and that is how many manufacturers are leveraging digital solutions to afford a raft of benefits. As you will learn, numerous companies are increasing their agility, boosting productivity and improving quality by harnessing the power of data.

Concluding this year’s Manufacturing Agility Assessment, Matt Birtwistle, Manufacturing Industry Director at HSO, said it was “refreshing to hear why many manufacturers are striving to make these tangible agility gains: for the competitive advantage that doing so affords, potentially opening doors to new business opportunities”.

Discover why manufacturing organisations believe their agility has increased since 2022; the importance of data for decision making; the obstacles coming between companies and their goals over the next 12-24 months; and why manufacturers are looking to retain first, recruit second. Download your copy of the 2023 Manufacturing Agility Assessment below.

Download the report

James and Matt will discuss the findings of the 2023 Manufacturing Agility Assessment during an exclusive webinar hosted by HSO. Taking place on November 29 at 3pm GMT, the webinar will provide a great opportunity for guests to hear the results of the survey first-hand, and also discuss the findings with James, Matt and their industry peers.

You can register to attend the live webinar here:

The 2023 Manufacturing Agility Assessment is based on a survey of manufacturing professionals between June and July 2023. To add further context, The Manufacturer Editorial Team conducted follow-up interviews with a number of respondents. The end result is a report that is rich in data insights and underpinned by a real-world narrative.

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