Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Better Supply Chains Are Crucial to Future Growth

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Better Supply Chains Are Crucial to Future Growth

Article excerpt

Byline: DIANNE SHARP

IN its latest report Pulling Together, the CBI identified that 78% of companies view improving their supply chain as important or very important to their future growth.

From their perspective, a stronger domestic supply chain helps to guarantee security of supply, makes it easier to advance technology through collaborative innovation, and enables a faster response to changing market conditions and customer needs.

As a result, both sectors and individual companies are looking to increase the proportion of products and services sourced from the UK. Building stronger UK supply chains will help rebalance the economy by boosting growth in the manufacturing sector.

This will not only help to improve the UK economy's overall productivity, but also foster growth across all the UK's regions, particularly here in the North East. Stronger supply chains will also benefit people, as well as businesses, because the diversity of activities they support create a more evenly distributed range of jobs across all skills levels compared with other sectors.

However we have identified six challenges to overcome if UK supply chains are to compete on the basis of quality innovation and service, and reinvigorate our industrial sectors.

First, both the public and private sectors must invest more in R&D to prevent us falling further behind our international competitors. The UK is currently underinvesting by a widening margin relative to many other western economies - France's investment in R&D outstrips the UK's by nearly 40%. …

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