Understanding the sector

Posted on 18 Dec 2014 by The Manufacturer

David Atkinson, head of UK manufacturing at Lloyds Commercial Banking, shares the commitment to ensuring British manufacturing stays healthy and competitive in the global market.

Whether you make components for the automotive supply chains, valves for oil refineries or are a manufacturer in the food and drink sector, our nation’s makers operate within unique markets and trading environments.

Manufacturing is a capital-intensive industry that provides its own particular working capital demands, while Britain’s position at the forefront of high-value engineering demands heavy and consistent funding for research and development (R&D) to keep us at the top of our game.

Manufacturers are leading the charge for UK exports as firms look to emerging markets to supplement domestic growth and hedge against a sluggish Eurozone economy, which will require specialist products to protect and support businesses when exporting to overseas markets.

Banks provide vital funds and guidance for these firms. Our team at Lloyds Bank is committed to ensuring that our relationship managers and directors know manufacturing, and its dynamic challenges, inside-out. That’s why we set up a comprehensive manufacturing awareness programme with the renowned Warwick Manufacturing Group back in 2011.

The initiative provides real insight into how these companies are impacted by the decisions that banks make and how we can best support them. The training covers key areas of understanding from export finance, complex manufacturing supply chains, techniques on good factory floor practices such as 5S and specific government initiatives aimed at supporting the sector.

The results of the project have been outstanding. We’ve trained over 200 managers, who have supported more than 2,500 businesses. This is part of Lloyds Banking Group’s commitment to support manufacturers by providing £4bn of extra sector funding in the four years to 2017.

With the right experience in industry and sector-specific knowledge in place, our team is well-placed to provide funding and banking products that will meet the specialist needs of a manufacturing business, including export finance, working capital and loans.

While the economy may be recovering, volatility in recent weeks demonstrates the importance of remaining fleet of foot, and having access to specialist support in the market. Lloyds Bank remains fully committed to ensuring that manufacturers are in the best possible position to meet challenges ahead, but also capitalise on opportunities that markets at home and abroad present.