Emma Botfield, UK & Ireland Managing Director at RS Components, discusses why the business is exploring resilience and its impact in the manufacturing and industrial sectors.
The last twelve months have clearly shown us that business resilience must look beyond the confines of financial stability. It should also incorporate a strengthened supply chain, ongoing investment in the latest processes, equipment, and products; engineer new and more productive ways of working and focus on having a safe, highly trained, and motivated workforce.
Resilience is a key component of business competitiveness, encompassing critical factors such as investment, productivity, and employment. If the UK manufacturing sector is to compete on a global stage and withstand multiple economic, social, and political challenges, it must seek to ensure that its resilience matches, if not exceeds, those of other nations.
That’s why we’ve embarked on this research project to build one of the UK’s first comprehensive looks at resilience in the manufacturing and industrial sectors, to show senior engineers how making changes to key resilience drivers of plant, process and people can make a big impact. The Resilience Index, when revealed, will show a diverse set of data from the likes of OECD and ONS, highlighting how different parts of the economy have demonstrated resilience over a 20-year period. The findings from the Index will make essential reading for senior engineers and anyone responsible for the increased production, better ways of working and financial performance of a manufacturing business.
Throughout 2021, we’ll further delve into the resilience theme, focusing on three key areas of plant, process and people. We’ll be exploring these levers of resilience in greater detail and hearing from key experts from manufacturing, to see how the story of resilience is playing out, on the factory floor and within UK boardrooms.
We will also be looking at the suite of services and solutions RS Components offers to help senior engineers improve their company’s resilience.
By moving from being a catalogue-based product supplier to a digitally-enabled technical solutions provider, we have become more strategic and a more important part of the customer supply chain. Our Inventory, Procurement and Maintenance solutions assist businesses across plant and process, through to supplier partnerships offering training for new products and solutions to keep updated with technological advancements, and PPE and safety products to keep the plants, products & workforce safe and productive.
Also, partnering with global MRO and protection suppliers with a robust local infrastructure such as RS, can ensure businesses have access to hundreds of thousands of product SKUs, from thousands of suppliers that can be accessed from an interconnected web of distribution centres and local branches. Where we found our strength over the past year, is reacting quickly to urgent demands. One such example was an NHS customer who urgently required a calibrated infrared thermometer to monitor patients for COVID-19. Within 24 hours, we sourced the product, sent it to our UKAS accredited calibration lab, couriered it to our Birmingham branch and then the manager personally delivered it to the customer.
Over the course of this year, we look forward to unearthing the truths of manufacturing and industrial resilience and hope senior engineers find our exploration of use.