£28m of productivity savings for Scottish manufacturers

£28m of productivity savings for Scottish manufacturers

Manufacturing companies in Scotland have achieved £28m of productivity savings during 201516 thanks to support from the Scottish Manufacturing Advisory Service (SMAS).

The SMAS team supported 202 manufacturing companies in Scotland to complete business improvement projects.

The results, released by Scottish Enterprise, show companies are investing in their assets, innovating their products and processes and developing their leadership ambitions to improve company efficiency.

The cabinet secretary will welcome these record savings during his keynote address to Scotland’s manufacturing business leaders at the national SMAS conference in Cumbernauld today. He will announce that Scottish Enterprise, which delivers SMAS, has delivered £113m in total efficiency savings.

Cabinet secretary for economy, jobs and fair work, Keith Brown said; "Manufacturing continues to be a vital component of our economy and driver of future prosperity.

"It represents over half of Scotland’s international exports and our investment in research and development, employing 190,000 people, and it is vital that the future of the sector is protected amid the on-going uncertainty about our relationship with the EU.

"That is why the Scottish Government is firmly committed to supporting the sector and is working with public and private sector partners to deliver the ambitions of our manufacturing action plan –A Manufacturing Future for Scotland.

"The Scottish Manufacturing Advisory Service forms a vital part of our support for the sector and working through this service, Scottish Enterprise has helped to deliver record efficiency improvements and productivity gains of £113 million over three years to the 202 manufacturing businesses it supports helping them innovate and identify where they need to invest to build their global competitiveness."

Scottish enterprise chief executive Dr Lena Wilson added:  "Today’s manufacturers are focused on becoming even more productive and are increasingly taking advantage of new digital technologies to transform how they do business.

"This focus is helping the sector compete globally and will see the industry go from strength to strength as it exports more products to more markets around the world."

The food and drink sector delivered the biggest bulk of projects during 2015/16 – 45 projects delivering £5.7million in total.

Geographically, Fife achieved the most in value added benefits , £3.6 million with the biggest proportion of projects-19 in total.

David Jones, chief executive of the University of Strathclyde’s Advanced Forming Research Centre, added: "Driving efficiency will be absolutely crucial to helping Scottish manufacturers compete on the global stage.

"The SMAS conference is a great opportunity to reflect on the performance of Scottish manufacturing in the last year and also how we can take steps to ensure a prosperous future for the sector.

"We believe that digital manufacturing, otherwise known as Industry 4.0 and the fourth industrial revolution, presents a significant opportunity for Scottish SME manufacturers to grow, deliver enhanced productivity, and compete internationally."