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Future Fit: trailblazing in the fourth industrial revolution

Following on from the original Future Fit programme, a new report from NatWest offers further insight into the challenges and opportunities faced by manufacturers – and looks at what it takes to be a trailblazer in today’s manufacturing sector.

Last updated: 27 Nov 2020 2 min read

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  • 87% of respondents said that they have the internal capability for implementing forward-thinking strategies
  • However, only 25% of companies put the development of strategic plans for the business over the next five years at the top of their agendas
  • Despite significant agreement that innovation is crucial for future financial performance, it is rarely sufficiently prioritised to be effectively deployed

A modern trailblazing leadership mindset is crucial in setting a company’s forward-thinking strategy, and implementing it. But while manufacturers recognise the importance of leadership, many are too busy working in the business to be working on the business. Their actions on innovation and R&D do not always measure up to their good intentions to innovate and prepare for the future – to be ‘future fit’.

Based on interviews with SME manufacturers turning over between £5m and £80m, ‘Future Fit: trailblazing in the fourth industrial revolution’ has been produced as part of the bank’s Future Fit series, an ambitious programme of insight focused on the manufacturing sector. The report has three key objectives: exploring the leadership mindset and approaches towards future-proofing; assessing the level of collaboration necessary for future success; and analysing the support mechanisms available for manufacturing.

Key findings from the research include the following:

Based on these and other findings, the report asks questions regarding what action can be taken to better prepare the industry for the future. It also seeks to identify the characteristics of a trailblazer, and why their proactive nature and desire for development are needed in the changing landscape of manufacturing.

To read the full report, click here: 

Future Fit: trailblazing in the fourth industrial revolution
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Tech and Innovation, Reports, Manufacturing and Automotive