I’m always on the lookout for great marketing and communications campaigns and I found an excellent sector initiative by a UK wide accountancy association – Manufacturing and engineering benchmarking thought leadership at MHA. It’s a good accountancy marketing case study.

The main research publication is the annual report (the latest is for 2017/2018 but it has been running for a number of years). It is based on a survey of 460 clients and contacts in the manufacturing and engineering sectors – mostly SMEs. It provides an insightful overview of the manufacturing and engineering sector and is full of lively infographics and analysis of issues such as finance, business confidence, innovation, employment and exporting.

There’s a comparison of regional variations and numerous case studies. Future issues such as capital investment, sustainability, energy requirements and lean manufacturing are also explored.

Some of the key facts that caught my eye included:

  • Manufacturing contributes 9.5% of GDP
  • 78% predicted growth for their business (57% expect to increase their staff)
  • 94% felt their cost of production would rise in the next year
  • 66% believe their main competitors are based within the UK
  • 51% export with 96% exporting to the Eurozone
  • 22% put skills shortage at the top of their agenda

The benchmarking study – with contributions from eight member firms across the UK – has commentaries from the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IME) and the Electrical Research Authority (ERA) and is sponsored by Lloyds Bank.

There’s a dedicated area of the web site http://mha-uk.co.uk/sectors/manufacturing/ which showcases events and a range of other publications for the sector including those focusing on recruitment and retention, the impact of the budget, automation and growing cost pressures for manufacturers.

There’s a dedicated Manufacturing Group providing a national knowledge base on issues specifically of interest to manufacturers including R&D tax credits, Patent Box, capital allowances and grants. The group maintains links with a range of external organisations such as MAS, UKTI, Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) as well as institutes, universities, banks and allied sector specialists.

Hannah Farmborough, Senior Marketing Manager at MHA commented:

“The manufacturing and engineering sector is an important one for the growth of the British economy and we work hard to ensure our clients voices are heard, we use this report to lobby MPs in an attempt to reach parliament. We have been previously contacted by parliamentary researchers to obtain further information to be shared with MPs in parliament on current issues such as the skills gap in the sector. 

The MHA Manufacturing and Engineering report has been running now for six years. Our national report is featured in trade press, on social media and member firms also run regional events where the findings of the report and the regional analyses are discussed in more detail. These are usually combined with a factory tour as well to provide a practical insight into manufacturers in their area.

We are extremely grateful to our clients and contacts who take the time to share information about their businesses with us, which enables us to present a national picture of the industry”.