Too many small to medium manufacturers are focussed on stockpiling at the expense of long-term productivity planning, software specialist, Access Group, has said ahead of Subcon. 
The company, which will speak at the UK's biggest subcontract manufacturing supply chain show, works with manufacturers in the UK across the engineering, chemical, pharmaceuticals, food & drink and aerospace & defence sectors.
Andy Brown, divisional team leader at the company, says reports indicate that many companies are becoming too focussed on mitigating disruption from potential trade barriers at the expense of longer-term investment to improve productivity.  
He said: “The true objective should be to improve productivity over the longer-term in order to increase competitiveness in the context of global markets. It's no secret that the UK struggles to compete when it comes to productivity. In 2016, workers in Germany took, on average, around four hours to produce what UK workers do in five.”  
Latest analysis from the Office for National Statistics shows that the UK has the largest “productivity puzzle” of all G7 countries. Last year the EEF said that growth in manufacturing productivity since 2008 had been just 1%, compared with almost 5% before the downturn. While an OECD report has positively revised estimates of the productivity gap in the UK's favour at the end of 2018, it still estimates that the US is 16% more productive per hour.  
Access Group will be discussing this topic at Subcon in a presentation titled Collaboration is Key to Productivity. Brown will outline what's possible today, underlining that more emphasis should be placed on longer-term thinking to ensure success.   
“The purchasing managers’ index (PMI) hit 55.1 in March indicating that manufacturers are tying up a lot of capital in stock. With this taking over the focus, we’re in danger of missing an opportunity to invest in longer-term strategies to boost productivity,” Brown warns. 
He added: “Getting the basics right is key – and that involves improving collaboration and the way information is shared so that decision-makers can act quickly without having to go through reams of data.”
The presentation, which will be taking place at Subcon, in Theatre 2 at 2.15pm on 5th June will outline strategies that can be implemented now to boost collaboration.
“We won't be talking about mega investment to create super futuristic 'smart factories' – but rather an upgrade to how we work and the introduction of technology into legacy systems which enables people to work together better,” says Brown.  
The Access supply chain team will be showcasing their latest ERP and WMS solutions at their stand (J67) during the three-day event from 4 – 6 June at the NEC, Birmingham. The company will be demonstrating various KPI dashboards which all derive their information from a single data source – ultimately making it possible for key information to be shared with clarity and in real-time. 
In the coming months Access Group will also be publishing a new productivity guide.
To find out more about this and Access Group’s supply chain and warehousing services, visit https://www.theaccessgroup.com/supply-chain/. 

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