UK industry needs to be ‘bold and brave’
The time has come for UK manufacturing to be ‘bold and brave’ in the way it targets international opportunities according to the boss of a strategic manufacturing outsourcing specialist.
Tony Hague, chief executive of Cheslyn Hay-based PP Control & Automation, made the rallying call after GDP figures revealed that growth in the economy had stalled and manufacturing output was falling.
He is urging more companies to invest in automation and to proactively target export contracts after his own business announced a £3 million order haul and exciting plans for further growth both domestically and in North America.
It is an approach that the Government is keen for other manufacturers to replicate as it looks to reinforce the UK’s reputation as an industrial powerhouse.
"We have definitely noticed an increase in confidence since the General Election result and it appears that investment has been switched on in a lot of sectors, which is very pleasing
“From our base here in the UK, we support 25 of the world’s largest machinery builders in food processing and packaging, printing, machine tool, energy, transport and infrastructure, medical and high technology sectors.
"Everything we do has to create added value to our clients through innovative design, proactive supply chain management and competitive and agile manufacturing," said Mr Hague.
He continued: "We are targeting emerging markets in the UK, such as electrification, as well as new opportunities in different geographies. In particular the North American markets, where we are well placed with 20 plus years knowledge of legislation and associated UL standards. There are also the connections we have in place now through our investment partners Ardenton Capital.
"Despite the figures out this week, I believe it is exciting times for industry, but we have to work collectively and collaboratively to grow GDP and wealth.
"Developing a more comprehensive supply chain model across the UK could ensure that the larger ‘primes’ in aerospace, defence, automotive and industrial machinery could actually increase their domestic spend. For that to happen, we need supply chain excellence; the impact on GDP and balance of trade would be massive."
PP Control & Automation, which employs more than 220 people at its 5,500 sq metres facility, delivers added value design, engineering and complex assembly to clients involved in aerospace, food processing, machine tools, packaging, printing and advanced technologies.
With renewed financial backing from Canadian-based investor Ardenton, the firm secured a record £26m year in 2019 and strengthened its senior management team with the strategic appointment of Stewart Robertson as head of finance and Garry Myatt as sales director.
It continues to be an influential member of the Manufacturing Assembly Network, a collective of nine manufacturers and a specialist engineering design agency that work together to share best practice and bring work back to the UK.
"UK manufacturing is still revered throughout the world for our engineering, our design and our innovation. We need to embrace this as we embark on doing trade in a whole new world and I’m confident that, whilst there may be twists and turns ahead, the opportunities will far outweigh the threats," he concluded.
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