Britain is the ninth largest manufacturing nation in the world and it's now entering a whole new era, commonly known as the “fourth industrial revolution”. British manufacturers need to prepare for the future. If they don't, they won't succeed, their offerings will become outdated, and their competition will continue to thrive.
With that in mind, we created ReMake Manufacturing. A podcast that brings together national and international manufacturers to share the most pressing issues in the industry. We talk with industry-leading experts to share exclusive information and solutions on how to survive in a saturated market.
In this post, we drive deeper into three of our popular podcast episodes and unveil some critical topics happening in the industry right now.
- #1. Manufacturing is changing, to a modern forward-looking industry
- #2. Robotics and the impact it will have on all of our lives
- #3. Challenges for new and growing UK manufacturers
#1. Manufacturing is changing, to a modern forward-looking industry
In this podcast, we were joined by Fiona Norbury, Global Marketing Manager at Apeks. She’s been with the company for nine years and, without a doubt, she’s an expert in her field.
Before we dive a little deeper into the podcast (excuse the pun😬), we’ll give you some context to this partnership. We first partnered with Apeks in 2014. Throughout our seven-year relationship, we've increased brand and product awareness, developed a world-class strategy, and consistently invested in innovation. We’ve helped position Apeks as a global leader in diving equipment. So, we were delighted to have Fiona join us on our podcast!
The conversation we had with Fiona was insightful and hypnotising. Fiona talks confidently about how the manufacturing industry is changing and shifting to a more forward-thinking outlook - where everyone is welcome. Not only was this conversation informative, but the insight revealed on gender representation was interesting.
Despite Fiona highlighting a gender gap in the manufacturing industry, she did provide reassurance that this is improving, and changes are being made to ensure females can also benefit from the manufacturing industry and excel in this chosen career path.
The industry has evolved throughout the years and manufacturers have been forced to adopt new growth strategies. As outlined by Fiona, Brexit and COVID-19 have hit businesses hard, but it’s not all doom and gloom. We think Fiona put it perfectly…
“I think manufacturing is in a massively different place to where it used to be. I don't think that is communicated as much as it could be, that manufacturing is cool and it can be cool.”
With the help of Red-Fern, Fiona has created immersive experiences with storytelling at the forefront of their marketing efforts. Not only is this a perfect way to help the target audience submerge themselves in the product, but it also plays on the emotions of the readers. Manufacturers should be adopting a marketing strategy and utilising technology to drive growth.
Beyond social media, Apeks are improving every area of their business and this should be admired by other manufacturers across the UK.
“We look at every aspect of how we do our business and how we can do it better. We're a solar-powered factory. So, our machines run off solar energy and anything that we make beyond what we need, we sell back to the grid, which helps to support local homes.”
So, although new and growing UK manufacturers are facing various challenges, there are ways they can combat them and use them to their advantage. By adopting a more environmentally friendly approach, investing in technology and marketing, and creating experiences for their target audience. Apeks have proven it as they grow from strength to strength.
To gain more insights into how the manufacturing industry is evolving and why - listen to the whole podcast below.
#2. Robotics and the impact it will have on all of our lives
In this episode, we spoke with Marco Chacin, Principal Robotics Engineer for Airbus. Marco started from humble beginnings in Venezuela, and his love for robotics at an early age has taken him across the globe. He’s worked with some incredible companies including KUKA, NASA, and currently Airbus in Wales.
The conversation we had with Marco was exciting and broad. We discussed the fast moving field of robotics and the impact it will have on our lives going forward (exciting!). One of the first things Marco outlines in our discussion is the positives of robotics. It’s a no-brainer if it…
“improves your productivity and helps your personnel in order to be more effective and better and produce more, and then obviously make more money” - Marco Chacin.
But where is robotics in the UK? Is the industry forward or behind? Marco highlighted that the UK is massively behind in comparison to other countries, and he states that the number of robots per capita here in the UK is much lower than many other countries around the world. Not only does that mean businesses are drastically missing out on automation, but there’s also room for growth and a whole lot of opportunity according to Marco.
Marco believes that over the next few years, we're going to see robots involved in services more and more. Robots will be replacing mundane tasks, as well as helping people across the world achieve optimal efficiency and speed. This is particularly so in areas of the globe that are largely populated by the older generation, such as Japan.
"We're going to start seeing more and more capable robots doing the same kind of thing like helping you with everyday tasks. Not just washing your dishes and cleaning your house but also doing more important things like perhaps taking care of your kids in the future, or doing specific things maybe taking care of the garden or whatever that's going to be".
As well as robotics, businesses will need to adopt many other strategies to be ahead of the curve and to beat their competitors in saturated markets. Marco is an expert in robotics and has a hugely impressive CV, so we'll take his word for it - robotics are going to take over for the greater good.
Of course, we’re not going to reveal all of the information in the podcast. To find out more about robotics in manufacturing - head over to the episode below.
#3. Challenges for new and growing UK manufacturers
In this podcast, we spoke with John Pearce, CEO of Made in Britain, a not-for-profit organisation that supports British manufacturers under a single, registered collective mark across 30 product classes.
Made in Britain aims to bring together manufacturers and the entire British manufacturing industry. Businesses who secure their Made in Britain mark are represented with a standard of quality and unity for the British manufacturing sector within the UK and around the world.
In our conversation with John, we discussed localising supply chains, how products are sourced, what we do about the scarcity of resources and challenges for new and growing UK manufacturers.
Challenges are consistently being thrown into the manufacturing industry, although some are out of the manufacturer's control. One of the biggest challenges manufacturers face is inflation.
This also leads manufacturers to look at alternative materials and start to address what waste they're sending off the premises. Businesses are becoming eco-friendly, not only to protect our collective home but to promote a more positive brand message.
Sustainability is a rising challenge in the manufacturing industry as businesses need to use more raw materials and use economical amounts of energy. John supports this and says that it’s more of a serious issue for manufacturers than for any other business because manufacturers can’t greenwash.
As John said..
"If you don't have a sustainability message these days in business, you better have one pretty quick".
John also discussed the importance of localising supply chains, after all, he works for a business that wants to unite business owners in the local areas across the UK. With the help of Made in Britain, this is possible. Made in Britain puts businesses in touch with local manufacturers. John is certain, as the industry moves forward, there’ll be a huge shift in local supply chains “the local dial is moving, and I think it has progressed for society too”.
Without delving too deeply into the conversation, because the podcast can provide that, we'll leave you with this piece of information from John:
“Make sure you've got your funding really locked, tight, and secure, and that you're not making it up as you go along, because you can't do that in manufacturing”.
John is an expert in his field and, yet again, provides an incredible insight into the manufacturing industry and the direction going forward. But what are the other issues manufacturers might face? Are they worth noting? To find out more, you’ll have to tune into the podcast!
Want to know more? Put your earphones in!
We couldn’t give you all the answers in this blog post, to find out more about the challenges manufacturers face, and the different ways you can prepare your business for a successful future, tune into our podcast.
Don’t forget, if you never want to miss an episode, make sure to subscribe!