Engineers fear supply chain challenges could go on ‘indefinitely’

1 min read

New research complied by Essentra Components has found that nine out of ten engineers working in UK manufacturing report that business has been negatively impacted by supply chain issues, and half say the impact has been ‘significant’.

What’s more concerning, however, is that 62 percent said that they expect supply chain challenges to last for anything up to five years whilst 15% believe they could go on ‘indefinitely’.

The State of Manufacturing 2023 Report found that larger firms were more affected than smaller businesses by supply chain issues; in fact, 19% of small engineering firms said that they have been unaffected.

To mitigate the effects of these challenges companies have been sourcing new suppliers (64% of respondents) increasing prices (43%) and exploring ways of reducing overheads (30%).

When asked what the key barriers to growth were, respondents gave a wide variety of answers, but the most common were the lack of meaningful government support for manufacturing, Brexit, and the war in Ukraine.

According to the report there is shift away from low-cost global supply chains towards regional and cluster-focused supply chains driven by the need for greater reliability, while a growing number of companies are bringing manufacturing closer to the point of demand and localising supply.

It would appear that global uncertainty is driving the supply chain focus away from ‘lowest-cost’ and rapidly towards service and dependability at optimal cost.