Since the UK lockdown in March, many in the manufacturing industry were left with questions, uncertainty and lots of spare time on their hands, due to the majority of the country either on furlough or finding themselves working from home.
According to www.ons.gov.uk in April 2020, 46.6% of people in employment did some work from home. However, for many sectors of the manufacturing industry, working from home just isn’t possible currently, without significant advances in virtual or augmented reality…
‘At the beginning of 2020, the UK manufacturing sector experienced its sharpest decline in output since 2013..*
“For the last couple of years, it’s been tough for the manufacturing sector – firms have been holding off spending on long-term hiring, investment, recruitment and machinery,” says Seamus Nevin, the chief economist at Make UK. “A degree of certainty was starting to be restored this year. But this pandemic has created a whole new set of uncertainties. It’s disrupted supply chains [and] customer demand.”*
During all of the struggles the pandemic has produced, there is also a huge correlation between the rise of online usage; understandably. What else has everyone been doing other than recording TikTok dance challenges all lockdown, watching the daily news updates on Covid-19 or panic buying pasta and toilet roll online?
‘From how we interact with others, read the news, connect with businesses and make purchasing decisions; having a digital presence is extremely powerful and isn’t showing any sign of leaving. Online has around 3.2 billion users worldwide, which is a crazy 42% of the population. Users are spending an average of 2 hours and 22 minutes per day on social media and 3.26 billion people are using their mobile phones to access the platforms, which is up 10% from last year. As being online and accessible is becoming increasingly popular in our daily lives, it offers businesses more and more opportunities to reach out to their audiences.’**
So how does this relate to businesses in manufacturing? As we know, we currently cannot run an entire factory from home, however… You CAN use the rising online presence to your advantage…
Web 2.0 is very much among us; people are using their smartphones more than ever before. There have been new job roles entirely created in the past 10 years due to the rise in Technology – more jobs, more opportunities. Time is an inevitable thing, as well as change and development; by embracing digital improvements you will become the innovator in a hugely competitive market. The way social media platforms provide marketing tools are so impressive, you can now advertise your entire business sat in the comforts of your own home.
But where do I start?
All of your potential clients and current ones are reachable at the click of a button. By starting with small quick wins, such as creating a Facebook Page for your business and reaching out for reviews, you find connections who then… find connections. Whilst physical interaction is currently on the low, you can still be visible very easily to your customers, to show that you are here to support, albeit virtually, and that you are trading and you still exist. Out of sight out of mind certainly does not have to be the case.
HanaTech is here to help from those small quick wins to full digital process improvement – creating your digital path and putting your business back on top. Innovation is key in an ever-changing tech world, but it doesn’t have to be a difficult process…
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