Success through people management and communications - Business Works
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Success through people management and communications

Andrew Nicholas, MD, Executives Online Mid-market manufacturers in the UK are contributing more to the economy than similar firms in France, Germany and Italy and represent the hidden engine to recovery, according to Andrew Nicholas, MD at recruitment company Executives Online.

A study by Warwick Business School and GE Capital reports that firms with a turnover of less than £800 million, classified as mid-market, comprise just 1.67% of the total number of companies in the UK, but they create over one third of GDP. The UK mid-market also has more firms achieving sales growth of more than 10% in the last year than those in Germany, France and Italy.

Mid-market companies – companies that are too big to be considered SMEs, but smaller than big, exchange listed businesses – play a key role in the UK and in the other top European economies.

In the UK, there are just over 27,800 mid-market companies, but they deliver over a third of economic contribution. Across the UK, Germany, France and Italy (the EU-4), the mid-market represents about 1.5% of all companies and yet it generates about one third of private sector revenue and employs about a third of each country’s workforce.

"Our manufacturing practice has worked with hundreds of mid-tier UK manufacturers. Despite their size, they often punch well above their weight in terms of revenue contribution and job creation," said Andrew Nicholas.

Global trends over the past two decades have created huge competitive pressures, as well as major opportunities for UK manufacturers. They have responded by moving their competitive offerings away from cost and towards innovation, new products and services. Underpinning this transformation has been the ability of companies to move quickly to respond to changing market circumstances and to seize new opportunities.

"The figures from the study highlight the UK mid-market sector’s relative resilience compared with the other large European economies – these firms are driving GDP and are essential to future economic prosperity."

Manufacturers work in fast-moving global markets, where success is based on the capacity to provide solutions, exploit niches and respond to a growing and dynamic customer base. Innovation in products, service and processes, investment in modern machinery and the ability to tap into new export markets are cornerstones of competitiveness. As manufacturers constantly strive to do things better against a background of shifting economic conditions, a flexible and adaptable workforce is crucial to achieving this success.

"The manufacturers’ organisation EEF report Flexibility in the Modern Manufacturing Workplace, produced in partnership with Executives Online, showed that companies increasingly see their approach to people management and communication as a ‘core component’ of their overall business strategy," concluded Andrew.

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