Made in Britain – Lessons Learned from 10 Years in the Industry

In a recent interview with Manufacturing Management, Made in Britain CEO, John Pearce, reflected on his organisation’s first decade of operation. While the business started off as a marketing campaign to promote British manufacturing, it has ballooned to become a large trade association with a GVA of £4bn and nearly 2,000 member companies. The interview highlights 10 lessons learned over the course of the 10 years that Made in Britain has been operating – below we’ve summarised our favourite three.

Passion is a great motivator

Motivation is one facet of running a business that can prove particularly tricky. How does one maintain a happy and consistently motivated workforce? Through pay? Through rewards? Through a pleasant working environment?

Pearce, through running Made in Britain, has come to understand the importance of passion in instilling motivation and resilience in a workforce. As simple as it sounds, making sure your employees care about and have an active role in the success of your business can be the key to keeping them engaged in their work.

Pearce brings up the example of family-run businesses – he says:

“Many Made in Britain member companies are family businesses founded more than a century ago. Businesses such as these have a unique resilience because the people behind them truly believe in the value of what they are doing – and it shows.”

British manufacturers are doing more to product the planet

We have written recently about how British manufacturers are leading the charge on sustainability, but Pearce takes this notion a step further.

Made in Britain notes that Britain’s Green Growth programme has been incredibly popular with its member companies, demonstrating the industry’s commitment to net zero.

Further to this, Pearce goes on to highlight how increasing consumer awareness of the impact of importing and transporting goods is leading to an uptick in the demand for British-made goods. Covid-19 highlighted the intricacies of the supply chain upon which the world relies, and this has in turn made consumers more supportive of home-made goods. Better for the planet and more convenient for the consumer.

The British manufacturing sector is more diverse than most think

Our manufacturing sector represents nearly 10% of GDP, and employs over 7% of the nation’s total workforce, making us the 9th largest manufacturing nation in the world.

The industry also accounts for 64% of the UK’s business R&D investment – with transport and chemicals & pharmaceuticals claiming the lion’s share of the sun – as well as accounting for over half our exports.

The industry ranges from a well-developed food & drinks sector to metal working, electronics, transport, and energy production.

Wages are, on average, 12% higher in the manufacturing industry than in others, and its diversity makes it a particularly interesting place to work as a prospective employee.

Final thoughts

British manufacturing, despite lagging behind some of its European counterparts, remains a vibrant and varied component of the nation’s economy providing jobs to millions and goods that are exported around the world. Let’s hope our government continues to invest properly in new and high-skilled technologies to allow the sector to continue to flourish well into the future, especially now we’ve severed ties with our European partners.

The Made in Britain community believes that British manufacturers should be recognised and rewarded with a degree of prioritisation from public sector buyers, procurement professionals and consumers over the coming years

By Rebecca Garland on 23/08/2022