05 July 2012
New Cambridge group aims to put UK manufacturing ‘at the crest of a wave’
A new not-for-profit group has been set up to help the UK benefit from what it predicts will be an imminent revolution in the manufacturing sector. The new organisation is inviting contributions to a landmark collaborative study, designed to place UK manufacturers "at the crest of a wave of structural change". Participants, it says, will gain the insight they need to grasp the revolution's huge potential for profit improvement.
The new organisation, called Next Manufacturing Revolution (NMR), has been founded by the University of Cambridge's Institute for Manufacturing (pictured) together with 2degrees, the online network for sustainability in business, and consulting firm Lavery Pennell.
The trio have identified interrelated changes in business practices, resource use, technology and business models that have created momentous new opportunities in the manufacturing sector. They have also uncovered early adopters – example companies including Toyota and Xerox – that have achieved substantial improvements in margins through revolutionary new approaches.
NMR is now embarking on an ambitious research programme designed to give UK manufacturers the strategic information needed to unlock their own potential for profit improvement. Among other benefits, participants will gain privileged access to the detailed case studies and other data that NMR has collected. The UK as a whole stands to gain through new jobs, reduced environmental harm and a vital boost to the economy.
Dr Greg Lavery, CEO of Lavery Pennell, said: "This research is a serious attempt to give the UK a head-start, as manufacturers around the globe wake up to a time of unprecedented opportunity. If UK industry takes heed, and takes decisive action, the nation is well positioned to seize massive economic improvements. The first step for manufacturers is to learn about the opportunities – and that is precisely what our survey is designed to achieve. Our landmark project will bring benefits to every company that participates."
The NMR study aims to:
* Quantify the impact of new opportunities on jobs and profitability
* Uncover further case studies in a variety of manufacturing sectors
* Identify barriers preventing change together with potential solutions
* Establish benchmarks and best practice guidelines
It is is urging all UK-based manufacturers to participate in the study. Survey respondents will each receive a report analysing the findings for their company, written for C-level executives, together with clear opportunities for profit improvements and case studies of best practices in their sector to demonstrate what is possible.
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