SMEs to increase digital spending in next six months


Nearly 70 per cent of UK businesses are planning to increase their technology spends in the next six months to improve productivity, a report by the Manufacturing Advisory Service (MAS) has revealed.

The survey said that half of companies have already started to address productivity concerns exposed by the Office of National Statistics in its quarterly investment report, but eight out of ten said more investment was needed to remain competitive.

In the last six months, 57 per cent of the 859 manufacturing companies surveyed said they has started to see an uplift in productivity over the last six months. The biggest gains were in the chemical, food, automotive and pharmaceutical sectors.

Steven Barr, head of MAS, said: "Our Barometer shows that manufacturers are already responding to recent observations by the Bank of England (BoE) that productivity needs to be raised.

"This could include anything from introducing new processes and eliminating waste, to upskilling staff and investing in technology and state-of-the-art machinery."

Additionally, MAS said 95 per cent of firms are planning to either maintain or increase their workforce to help boost worker productivity.

Barr concluded: "Management teams are continually looking to get more out of the business, a feature that will become increasingly important with the market showing some signs of softening."

Business Minister Matthew Hancock added: "Britain's small manufacturers are driving our economic recovery, boosting our national productivity and helping create a record number of jobs. This is part of our long term economic plan to build a better Britain."

Clare Hopping
Freelance writer

Clare is the founder of Blue Cactus Digital, a digital marketing company that helps ethical and sustainability-focused businesses grow their customer base.

Prior to becoming a marketer, Clare was a journalist, working at a range of mobile device-focused outlets including Know Your Mobile before moving into freelance life.

As a freelance writer, she drew on her expertise in mobility to write features and guides for ITPro, as well as regularly writing news stories on a wide range of topics.