Yorkshire Manufacturing 2012: Innovation And Export The Key
- Dorrien Peters - DLA Piper
- Mark Overfield - Deloitte
- Stuart Anderson - Pegler Yorkshire
- Mark Webber - Tinsley Bridge
- Neil MacDonald - Master Cutler, The Cutlersí Company
- John Bohan - Elevation Recruitment
- Peter Birtles - Sheffield Forgemasters
- Andrew Taylor - X-cel Superturn
- Ian Briggs (chair) - TheBusinessDesk.com
HIGH-MARGIN specialist products are the key for Yorkshire manufacturers defying the challenging economic conditions.
Leading manufacturers argued that macroeconomic data threatened to overshadow the success of individual companies.
But manufacturers are not waiting for on an improvement in the economy and are instead taking strategic decisions to focus on markets where there are profits to be made.
Stuart Anderson, group managing director of plumbing and heating manufacturer Pegler Yorkshire, said: “We have discontinued £20m of sales and removed low margin from our focus.
"We invest in new technology and drive the business that way. This year we are spending £5m on new equipment and technology."
The Government is exhorting UK businesses to export but businesses around the table had long since abandoned the idea that domestic demand could support them.
Indeed, with the crisis facing the Eurozone, horizons have shifted much further afield.
"Europe is slowing down and we can’t get any insurance on our customers in Greece," said OSL Group managing director David Grey.
"India is going like a train, as is China, the Pacific Rim and Australia. That’s what’s supporting growth.”
And it is not just new geographic markets, but also new sectors, that are the key for successful manufacturers.
"We are looking to get into railway. That’s the future – to get into specialist niche markets where the volume is not there. We do keep the volume stuff – it doesn’t
make much money but it covers the overheads," said Mark Webber, managing director of Tinsley Bridge.
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