Southern Manufacturing 100 dinner delivers confidence to UK manufacturing

Despite the manufacturing industry changing at a rapid pace in response to global competition and shifting marketplace expectations, the south is helping shape a new business model that requires manufacturers to innovate faster than ever to stay competitive.

“The south has more manufacturing companies than any other UK region. Many are smaller, specialist and niche manufacturers, but many are also leading edge and world-beaters.” This was the message from The Business Magazine publisher David Murray welcoming guests to the first Southern Manufacturing 100 dinner, held on February 11 at Oakley Hall Hotel, near Basingstoke.

Professor Joe Nellis, from Cranfield School of Management, provided insights into the causes and catalysts that are influencing economics and markets, and explained that manufacturers need to be ready for a more complex and changeable world.

Recognised as the industry leader for badge solutions, Diametric understands that manufacturing in 2030 will look very different from today, and will be virtually unrecognisable from that of 30 years ago.

Despite this, the team is confident for what lies ahead and alongside other UK-based manufacturers, recognises this period of change as a great opportunity.

Graham Steele, managing director at Diametric said: “Great Britain is a world leader in production. We have tomorrow’s technologies used in today’s world and the country has plenty of vision and insight to dream up the latest manufacturing innovations.

“For example, from its Woking headquarters, McLaren Applied Technologies is now able to monitor the automotive performance of F1 race cars as they compete live around the world – recording 150 real-time data streams running at 1,000 samples per second. This is a great indication of how well manufacturing and tech is doing here in the UK.”

Graham isn’t concerned about the amount of change in the industry, believing the best brains for innovation still reside in the UK. The country was ranked as the second most innovative in the world by the Global Innovation Index (GII) last year.

Finishing above industry powerhouses such as USA, Singapore and Germany for the third year running, the UK rose from tenth on the GII in 2011 to second in both 2014 and 2015. This is the most rapid increase among the top 10 GII-ranked innovation nations.

The Southern Manufacturing 100 celebrates the top private independent manufacturing companies and represents 53,500 employees.