Slow sales top North West’s concerns

Posted on 16 Sep 2010 by The Manufacturer

The top challenges facing manufacturers in the North West are depressed sales and cash flow, MAS NW’s monthly business review shows.

In its August report measuring the challenges that manufacturers face, the Manufacturing Advisory Service-NW identified that a lack of sales (23%) and cash flow (15%) continue to be the biggest problems affecting companies in the region.

Material costs, access to new markets and the need to develop new products – all 10% – are the joint third concerns according to the survey. Energy costs, environmental legislation and staff recruitment, noted as big concerns earlier in the year, continue to remain as low priority issues to manufacturers.

Paul Fewtrell, MAS-NW service delivery manager, said: “It’s all very well for commentators to say that a lack of sales has been affecting all businesses during the harsh economic climate. Manufacturing remains both pivotal and at the heart of the national economy.

“MAS has always taken a proactive stance, recognising its responsibility to manufacturers in what is the biggest manufacturing region in England and Wales, and [in the whole UK] the sixth largest manufacturing industry in the world. Of the 2.5 million people employed in manufacturing nationwide, almost 350,000 are employed in the North West. That is why we continue to support manufacturing in the region with a range of funded-services to help keep its position.

“It is a key driver for improving gross value added (GVA), contributing in excess of an astounding £20.6 billion to the regional economy, the highest contribution to the UK’s manufacturing industry GVA.”

For further details of the funded help available for manufacturers to supercharge their businesses, please call 0800 458 9585, or visit