Manufacturing business technology can be defined in a wide variety of ways, from large tools of production to digital innovations. Below are some of the ways in which manufacturing business technology has evolved and developed in the last ten years.
In 2019, Independent Growth Finance (IGF) provided a £3.9m (€4.35m) funding facility to Essex-based card manufacturer Thames Technology.
Thames Technology develops, manufactures, personalises, and distributes payment, gift, loyalty, and commercial cards. It manufactures over 200 million cards every year, distributing them to over 60 countries. Customers range from government bodies and retail giants to fintech and holiday firms, with 30% of business generated by export.
Yanmar Construction Equipment Europe (CEE) has launched a used equipment remarketing service to help plant hire firms update their fleets.
The company pledges to evaluate and purchase existing rental machinery, offsetting the value against new Yanmar models.
Available through dealers across the UK and Ireland, the service will allow plant managers to invest in state-of-the-art equipment without the inconvenience of re-selling their current fleet. Convenient, comprehensive and cost-effective, the remarketing proposition applies to all sizes, ages and brands of equipment.
In a speech given at Mansion House, governor of the Bank of England, Mark Carney, has confirmed the bank would help lay ‘groundwork’ for an open Small and Moderate Enterprise (SME) lending platform in an attempt to resolve the long-standing £22bn funding gap in the sector.
However Carney also confirmed the BoE would not build the platform entirely, as it ‘would not be the position of the institution to do so’. Carney also stated that the Bank of England will be tagging open banking payments with a unique ID called a Legal Entity Identifier (LEI). This will be mandated for financial institutions and the bank will be considering how to extend this to corporate payments.
Industry 4.0, also known as the fourth industrial revolution, refers to digital developments as discrete as cloud computing, the Internet of Things and 3D printing. A recent report by Siemens Financial Services (SFS) has examined the pace of transformation, and how SMEs need to adapt to avoid a ‘two-tier’ economy.
SFS observes that in most marketplaces, the first half of commercial enterprises to invest in new technologies are those that could gain the most advantage, at the expense of competitors that have not adopted.
The research from SFS showed that around 80% of larger manufacturers have already piloted a project that could be defined as Industry 4.0, compared to around half of SME manufacturers.
The gap in this two-tier race to digital transformation is significant, although the research also highlighted that SMEs may be better placed to invest with the help of specialist finance tools. Although larger players have the advantage of scale and market power, their digital transformation may be more complex as a result.