How to tackle global manufacturing competition
Manufacturing is one of the fastest industries to push a country into economic prosperity. India, China and Germany all sit on the timeline of development. India – emerging as a haven for cheap labour and low rental costs. China, a growing powerhouse, feared by mature markets for its knack in poaching whole industries from their reign. And then there’s Germany – the proof of what can happen when you hone, develop and invest in engineering. Through continuous investment 1 Germany has become a green pioneer of manufacturing excellence.
Unfortunately, as the rest of the world has joined in, Britain has withdrawn its position. UK headlines are spattered with skills shortages, decreased budgets and a failure to meet environmental goals. So, with higher labour costs and limited investment in
UK manufacturing, how can your business compete?
Cut off your competitors
Due to a globalised market, we no longer compete with our neighbours, but with firms from around the world. To minimise competition, aim for an industry that has heightened barriers to entry. Certifications can be harder to gain in developing companies, blocking their entrance. Try the Medical industry, Food processing or Aerospace for more localised competition.
Consider the Marketing Mix
British Engineering sits in a dangerous position currently. The middle of the market. We lack the prestige of Switzerland and Japan in technology, but can’t match prices with countries like Mexico and Korea. This leaves competition on process, place, promotion and people. UK firms must make their products more available, visible and better supported by customer relationships to differentiate themselves.
Combine product and services
It’s no secret that the UK is a service led country, with services estimated close to 80% 2 of th
e British economy. With the explosion of consultative, contracting and project management companies, why not consider a strategic partnership? Offering an end to end service creates trust in the customer, removes bottle necks and disrupts competitors.
As is often the case, the secret to competing on a global level is not fixed on one factor such as price, but in building a unique proposition that sets you apart.
1 Named innovation leader alongside Finland, Sweden and Denmark in 2014, Eurostat 2016
2 Financial Times Online 2016