A new Report from the Department's Institute for Manufacturing (IfM) highlights production as a key factor
for success in innovation.The IfM's findings are based on face-to-face interviews with 50 manufacturing
executives in the UK and USA and a survey of 100 UK companies. In conclusion, the report highlights the
linkages between production and the rest of the manufacturing cycle and contends that a significant number of
companies are not taking all of these linkages into account before either outsourcing or moving their
Over half of UK companies see production as critical to their ability to innovate, according to the survey.
"Making the Most of Production", which has been sponsored by the Department for Trade and Industry
(DTI), The Technology Partnership (TTP) and BAE Systems, outlines the strategic importance of production to
companies and proposes an initial framework for facilitating a more comprehensive approach to production
decisions than one based purely on cost.
Production can act as a source of innovation, customisation and differentiation, provide a platform for
services and be a potential means of value capture. The constant demand for cost-reduction often results in
short-term decision making that overlooks these opportunities.
Jacqui Smith, Minister of State for Industry and the Regions, said: "This study highlights the key strategic
issues around production and innovation that companies need to master for success in an increasingly
competitive global economy. The study also clearly illustrates the importance of making the transition to
high value manufacturing which is the basis of the Government's Manufacturing Strategy - the first of its
kind for over 30 years. Innovation is critical to achieving this transition and we will be setting out a
clear framework for improving the UK's innovation performance later this year."
"Making the Most of Production" can be ordered from the IfM. Please see www.ifm.eng.cam.ac.uk for further info.