SMEs urged to have their say in the next National Manufacturing Barometer

SMEs in the East Midlands are being urged to take part in the next National Manufacturing Barometer, in order to help shape future government policy and highlight current trends and opportunities.

The rallying call, made by organisers SWMAS and Economic Growth Solutions, is designed to increase the number of respondents from 270 to over 500 firms nationally, making it one of the largest industrial surveys in the country.

It gives management teams the opportunity to feed in recent/future sales performance, plans for investment and recruitment intentions, providing a clear view of SME confidence against the current economic climate.

There is also a special focus on a topical issue and this time the Barometer will ask a number of questions on “maximising your workforce efficiency to support productivity and growth”.

Simon Howes, managing director of SWMAS Group, said: “Smaller manufacturers in the East Midlands can sometimes be overlooked when we discuss economic performance and aspirations for the future.

“This is something we are looking to address with the Manufacturing Barometer and we received a great response last time with more than 250 firms taking part and providing their thoughts and performance data. We want to double this figure so that we can use the information to shape the business support we provide, whilst lobbying the government on how they support industry”.

He added: “The survey has gone live and takes no more than 15 minutes to complete. All senior managers need to do is visit www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/SWMASBarometerQ4 and answer each question…we can only accept one response per manufacturing business”.

The last National Manufacturing Barometer revealed that SMEs in the Midlands had remained resilient in the face of Brexit uncertainty, with 60% of firms recording an increase in sales during the previous six months.

It also found strong optimism for growth. Over two thirds of respondents expected sales to grow again during the first half of 2017; nearly half (47%) of companies were planning to invest in new capital equipment and technology; and 48% planned to increase their workforce to cope with demand.