Manufacturing survey explores supply chain price changes and raw material issues

Small to medium-sized (SME) manufacturing companies in the region are being invited to take part in a survey.

SME manufacturers in the region are wanted for the latest barometer
SME manufacturers in the region are wanted for the latest barometer

Following a quicker than expected recovery across the industry, current barriers to growth is the main focus of the latest Manufacturing Barometer, organised by SWMAS (the South West Manufacturing Advisory Service) and supported by the Manufacturing Growth Programme (MGP).

Aimed at West Midlands companies employing fewer than 250 people, the UK’s largest survey of SME manufacturers will explore supply chain price changes and raw material availability – two common pain points for businesses over the last six months.

More than 300 eligible firms are expected to have their say on the other challenges they are facing, including inflation, managing volatile demand, logistics, and recruitment.

It also offers them the chance to influence the current landscape by reporting on their sales, investment and job intentions going forward.

Nick Golding, managing director of SWMAS, said: “The bounce back has been much faster than many of us expected and that was reflected in the last Barometer, with 58 per cent of companies expecting to increase investment and 54 per cent looking to take on more staff to meet increasing customer demand.

“This is great to hear, but it is not without its challenges. Our experts have been hearing concerning reports of massive price changes on raw materials, lead times being extended to months rather than weeks, and challenges with recruiting staff.

“Since this survey opened on July 12, 94 per cent of respondents have told us that price changes within their supply chains are proving problematic, so we encourage other SME manufacturers to also highlight the most pressing issues they are facing.

“We will then share these findings with Government, so they can take action to develop more specialised support and we protect the recovery.”

The Manufacturing Barometer should take no more than 10 minutes to complete and is open until 4pm on Friday, July 23.

Martin Coats, managing director of the MGP, added: “This is an extremely important survey as it is the only one in the country that specifically caters for the needs of our SME manufacturers, who make up 98 per cent of all UK manufacturing businesses.

“We want to give the Government, local authorities, and other influential stakeholders the clearest possible picture of the current state of play, and how we can tailor support to help our manufacturing firms recover and grow.”

The Manufacturing Barometer can be filled out at

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