May Business Health News from Company Pulse
P – People + Processes
UK exporters impeded by labour shortages
British Chambers of Commerce 25 May 2018
BCC, in partnership with DHL, latest Quarterly International Trade Outlook shows exporters are being hampered by widespread labour shortages, particularly in manufacturing, where two-thirds of firms struggled to recruit in the first quarter of 2018.
Read more: http://www.britishchambers.org.uk/press-office/press-releases/bcc/dhl-uk-exporters-impeded-by-labour-shortages.html
Number of EU workers leaving UK eases but industry still faces recruitment crunch
EEF 21 May 2018
A new EEF report warns that nearly half of the UK’s manufacturers remain concerned about their ability to access skills post-Brexit. The slump in job applications from the EU has slowed since last year, but 17% of companies saw a drop in applications from European citizens.
Read more: https://www.eef.org.uk/about-eef/media-news-and-insights/media-releases/2018/may/number-of-eu-workers-leaving-uk-eases-but-industry-still-faces-recruitment-crunch
Proportion of small firms increasing pay is largest since 2014
Federation of Small Businesses 15 May 2018
The share of small businesses that are increasing wages for their employees has hit a three-and-a-half year high, according to the latest research from the FSB. 66% of small firms have increased salaries over the past year, with 50% awarding pay increases of two per cent or more.
Read more: https://www.fsb.org.uk/media-centre/press-releases/proportion-of-small-firms-increasing-pay-is-largest-since-2014
U – Utilisations + Outcomes
Tale of two service sectors
Confederation of British Industry 30 May 2018
Business volumes grew at the fastest rate since August 2015 among business and professional services companies, while volumes fell in the three months to May for consumer services, according to the latest quarterly CBI Service Sector Survey.
Read more: http://www.cbi.org.uk/news/tale-of-two-service-sectors/
Targeting ‘long tail’ of underperforming firms is not the answer to UK productivity problem
Centre for Cities 24 May 2018
The key to addressing the UK’s productivity problem is not to focus on underperforming businesses, but to help high-performing firms to increase output even further – especially in cities outside the Greater South East.
Read more: http://www.centreforcities.org/press/targeting-long-tail-underperforming-firms-not-answer-uk-productivity-problem/
Business can’t rely on just-in-time Brexit preparation
British Chambers of Commerce 30 April 2018
New research by BCC, in partnership with the Port of Dover, finds that over a third (36%) of traders rely on the just-in-time delivery of material and components, but that many are not preparing for changes to customs procedures after Brexit.
Read more: http://www.britishchambers.org.uk/press-office/press-releases/bcc-business-can’t-rely-on-just-in-time-brexit-preparation.html
L – Logistics + Infrastructure
Global supply chain risk fell during each quarter of 2017
Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply 29 May 2018
Despite continuing political concerns across the world, strengthening global economic growth was instrumental to another drop in the level of global supply chain risk according to the CIPS Risk Index, powered by Dun & Bradstreet.
Read more: https://www.cips.org/en/news/news/global-supply-chain-risk-fell-during-each-quarter-of-2017-despite-trade-wars-and-protectionism-on-the-horizon/
Drone industry set to contribute £42bn to UK economy by 2030
Computer Weekly 29 May 2018
Enterprise adoption of drone technologies could add £42bn to UK GDP by 2030 through automating repetitive workplace processes, according to a report by PwC, who suggest 76,000 drones could be in use in transport, logistics, construction, media and technology industries.
Read more: https://www.computerweekly.com/news/252442027/Drone-industry-set-to-contribute-42bn-to-UK-economy-by-2030
Think 3D printing is just for prototyping? Think again
The Manufacturer 29 May 2018
The predominant understanding manufacturers have regarding 3D printers is that they are basically a prototyping tool. This pre-conception in some cases may hold back wider adoption and the chance to leverage the transformative capabilities the technology offers.
Read more: https://www.themanufacturer.com/articles/think-3d-printing-just-prototyping-think/
S – Strategy + Finance
Small business investment falls amid £14 billion late payment crisis
Federation of Small Businesses 25 May 2018
The number of small firms planning to decrease investment has hit an 18-month high, according to new research from the FSB. 69% of small firms are not planning to increase investment over the next three months and 14% are planning to decrease investment.
Read more: https://www.fsb.org.uk/media-centre/press-releases/small-business-investment-falls-amid-14-billion-late-payment-crisis
Directors’ confidence in the economy returned to positive in March – albeit only just
Institute of Directors 8 May 2018
But whilst the move into the black is certainly noteworthy, what is even more striking in the IoD confidence data – which has been collected on a consistent basis since July 2016 – is just how sensitive business sentiment is to political events and communications.
Read more: https://www.iod.com/news-campaigns/news/articles/Behind-the-numbers-The-economics-of-confidence
Prospects for the UK Economy
National Institute of Economic and Social Research 4 May 2018
NIESR has revised lower its GDP forecast for 2018 to just under 1.5% mainly due to weak performance in the first quarter. But the slowdown is likely to be temporary. Inflation peaked in November 2017 and is forecast to ease back to the target rate of 2% over the next 8 quarters.
Read more: https://www.niesr.ac.uk/media/press-release-prospects-uk-economy-13359
E – Ethos + Relationships
FTSE firms’ excuses for lack of women in boardrooms ‘pitiful and patronising’
The Guardian 31 May 2018
Women aren’t a good fit in boardrooms, most of them don’t want the hassle of a big job and they don’t understand the complex issues discussed in board meetings. That is according to executives at the UK’s biggest firms, who have offered the excuses to explain why their boardrooms are dominated by men.
Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/business/2018/may/31/pitiful-views-on-women-in-boardrooms-permeate-ftse-firms
Flexible working policies alone not enough to support parents
People Management 23 May 2018
The Modern Families Index surveyed working parents. The findings revealed that flexible working alone did not improve working parents’ quality of life and it needed to be partnered with better job design, effective management and a supportive culture.
Read more: https://www.peoplemanagement.co.uk/news/articles/flexible-working-not-enough-parents
Industry urged to boost investment in workforce wellbeing to reap productivity rewards
EEF 14 May 2018
Britain’s manufacturers are being urged to grasp the opportunity of greater investment in the wellbeing of their workforce. A new study by EEF and Westfield Health shows that the overall mental health and wellbeing of employees is inextricably linked to motivation, engagement and performance in the workplace.
Read more: https://www.eef.org.uk/about-eef/media-news-and-insights/media-releases/2018/may/industry-urged-to-boost-investment-in-workforce-wellbeing-to-reap-productivity-rewards