Business optimism and investment intentions have improved significantly in the three-months to January, with optimism growing at the fastest pace since April 2014, according to the latest CBI Industrial Trends Survey.
More than 90% of the manufacturers investing in employee wellbeing and flexible working have seen a corresponding increase in workforce productivity and staff relations, according to a major new study.
Hundreds of North West-based small and medium-sized manufacturers have secured support in the first year of the Made Smarter programme, with 62 investing £5.4m to adopt new technologies - supported by £1.6m of matched funding.
The past half-decade has seen significant progress regarding the digitalisation of manufacturing, but there is still a way to go before the use of technologies, and the benefits they deliver, becomes the norm rather than the exception.
In today’s competitive landscape, environmental performance has to work alongside return on investment in the bottom line of a sustainable business. But is it so hard to balance costs and benefits? Lee Collinson reports.