Unusually for me, I have been reading through the EEF / BDO Manufacturing Outlook Q1 2018. I am certainly no economist and dont have access to the statistics and information resources available to BDO and the EEF, but it made for interesting reading and made me think how we, at Mid Fab, compare with the report.
There is a danger within any industry that we become over reliant on too few customers. So, over the past few months, we have been working hard to increase our customer database. We have exhibited at shows, developed our networking links, revitalised our website and boosted our social media activity. This has certainly delivered more enquiries and we are confident that orders will follow.
This leads us to another issue. That of finding the right people. The Manufacturing Outlook report talks of a slight moderation in business recruitment over the period, especially in the Metals and Metal Products sector. However, our challenge appears to be different. We are trying hard to recruit skilled engineering staff but with little success so far. We have interviewed and trialled several applicants, but none have worked out so far. This leads me to believe that the softening in BDOs report is caused not by a lack of hiring desire by engineering employers but more, a lack of quality skilled staff on the market.
Certainly, we see many positive opportunities for us in the future. Investment in marketing has delivered higher enquiry levels. We are confident this will deliver higher sales levels. This is really positive but leaves us with new challenges. Finding the right staff, improving efficiency, driving further quality through the business and the challenges of Brexit are all ahead of us. But we believe these are the challenges of success and long may that continue.
This article is in response to the EEF BDO- Manufacturing Outlook 2018 Q1.