MHA Manufacturing and Engineering Report 2019/20 – Video Part 2

Investment is key for growth in the sector.

As in previous years, answers to the various sections of the survey brought about some recurring themes and also a couple of surprises e.g. Business confidence.

When asked specifically about revenue growth– results are optimistic and at a similar level to last year – 70% of respondents anticipating growth over the next 12 months (71% last year). 64% of respondents are planning to invest in R&D – It is encouraging that 89% of respondents invested in R&D in the last year but frustrating that only 48% of those who invested successfully applied for R&D tax credits.

Click here to read the full report.

MHA Manufacturing and Engineering Report 2019/20 – Video Part 1

Compare your business against national findings.

The survey is a national one and this is the 8th year we have run it. We had in excess of 230 responses this year, from businesses of varying sizes and maturity.

A key change this year in the way we have utilised and presented the survey findings has been to engage with our Data Insights Team. In addition to collecting the responses to the survey, we have also carried out a benchmarking exercise with publicly available data on over 1,000 companies within the same geographical and financial parameters so that we can compare and contrast findings.

Click here to watch Part 2 – Investment is key for growth in the sector.

Click here to read the full report.

Manufacturing and Engineering Report 2019/20

Manufacturing & Engineering Annual Survey Report: UK SME manufacturers continue to grow and build resilience

Our MHA Manufacturing & Engineering Survey Report, now in its seventh year, is a go-to report when it comes to understanding the sector, its opportunities and challenges.

We benchmark SMEs across the UK to paint a national picture of the Manufacturing and Engineering sector. To broaden the content of this report and make it more useful as a benchmarking exercise we have changed our methodology this year. In addition to collecting responses to a client survey, we compare this to in-depth quantitative analysis which has been done in conjunction with our Data Insights team.

This years’ report reveals that while global economic conditions, Brexit/future trading tariffs and staff shortages impacted growth, SMEs remain buoyant and they’re building resilience by increasing their assets, reducing borrowing and re-evaluating supply chains.

Preparing today for the skills of tomorrow

The 45th WorldSkills Competition took place in August with 1,354 young professionals from 63 countries and regions demonstrating their strength in 56 skills across a range of sectors. The manufacturing and engineering sector was represented by skills such as CNC milling, welding, mechanical engineering CAD and electronics amongst several others.

Our manufacturing employers are only too aware of the need to attract and retain the skills required within their business but are the skills needed today going to be the skills required in the future?

According to recent research by BAE systems, emerging technologies such as virtual reality (VR), artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics will strongly influence the careers of future generations. Almost half of young people (47%) aged between 16-24 believe that one day they will work in a role that doesn’t exist yet, but only one-in-five (18%) think they are equipped with the skills required to future-proof their careers. The findings also revealed that 70% of young people want more guidance on the skills that will be in demand in the next 20 years to help make more informed decisions on their further education and careers.

Do our manufacturers therefore need to engage with educational institutions to help direct training towards future skills needs ? Possibly.

The connected factory is fast evolving, with investment in intelligent machinery and robots improving efficiencies and reducing waste. It may therefore be more appropriate, whist waiting for changes in the education sector to feed through to think about re-training and upskilling current employees to be able to handle the jobs of tomorrow. Given the fact that the concept of “a job for life” is rapidly becoming a thing of the past, giving employees the opportunity to multi-skill and move around departments may be key to retaining them within the organisation and satisfying their need to move on/ try something new. The result should also be beneficial for the organisation, with a diverse multi-functional workforce who embrace change in a positive manner and improved recruitment potential in the coming years.

For more information related to this blog, please contact Ginni Cooper

Our 2019/20 Manufacturing & Engineering Survey is Now Open

We are running our annual Manufacturing & Engineering Survey which will help to compile a nationwide picture of what the sectors think. This is our eighth annual survey and although none of us have access to a crystal ball, your views in the here and now will help our specialist advisers gauge where the sector is and what can be done to support it through what may be an uncertain few years.

We will again be focusing on several core areas: Your business as a whole including business confidence and growth focusing on post Brexit, Industry 4.0 and recruitment.

The survey should take no longer than 5 minutes and once we have done the analysis you will receive the full report detailing the findings with case studies and commentary from industry experts.

Take part in the survey now. Click here

We are also delighted to confirm that Lloyds Commercial Banking are again supporting the MHA Manufacturing & Engineering Survey along with Institution of Mechanical Engineers.

You can read last year’s report here.

If you have any queries about the survey or would like to know more about the services MHA members provide, please contact Ginni Cooper on: or 01772 821 021.

The Engine – Issue 5

At MHA Moore and Smalley we’re passionate about UK manufacturing and engineering. MHA members act for thousands of businesses across the country, including OEM’s, those in the supply chain, as well as engineering companies and tech businesses.

In this issue of the engine:

  • Are your back-office IT systems up to date?
  • The manufacturers’ profitability puzzle
  • Grappling with investment decisions 
  • Getting the most from your ‘Top Team’

We hope you find our publication useful and if there is anything that you would like to discuss further, please do get in touch with us by email at

Are SME’s being left behind in the digital manufacturing world?

As I have blogged about previously, Industry 4.0 or the IIoT (Industrial Internet of Things) has seen recent traction in the manufacturing landscape, but one of the main issues is the technology and implementation requires a significant initial investment, and costly ongoing operating costs.

SMEs are looking for readily inexpensive and easy digital solutions, they typically haven’t got IT departments as they often outsource this function, so as well as being low-cost, solutions need to be easy to use, and maintained by a 3rd party.

However, the technologies that are emerging, can be viable for SME manufacturers to gain access with technology centres sharing their equipment and expertise to reduce the impact of the initial investment, and ongoing costs.

SMEs should also look to implement Industry 4.0 in small steps, by identifying areas where the most value can be added to their business, making the technology work for them rather than it being just another expense for a bit more insight. As a starting point inexpensive machine sensors such as energy monitors could be installed to see which part of the production process used the most power, and then machine utilisation schedules could be altered for when power is cheaper. A series of small implementations such as this could kick start the SME Industry 4.0 movement.

Expenditure on machine sensors and adaptive components would qualify for the Annual Investment Allowance (AIA) which is currently £1,000,000 a year from 1 January 2019 for 2 years, and the projects involving automation and system communications could qualify for the research and development tax reliefs.

If you would like to discuss this blog in more detail please email Paul Locker or call us on 01772 821 021.

Alternatively, please fill in the form below with your comment or enquiry and we will be in touch.

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