New research on exporting and subcontracting

Subcon (5-7 June, Birmingham NEC) has unveiled research showing the subcontracting impact of a 48% increase in UK engineering and manufacturing exports over the past 12 months.

The research also revealed: a further 35% of businesses had seen export levels remain the same; of those increasing exports, the most common increase is a healthy 5-10%; and for an elite 20% of businesses, exports grew by more than 20%.

The research also shows that two thirds of manufacturing and engineering businesses used subcontractors in the past year, with 38% planning to increase work with them in the next 12 months. This rise is driven by a lack of in-house capacity and a desire among manufacturers and engineering businesses to focus on core competencies. Of those businesses that do use subcontractors, over half (53%) outsource up to 20% of their requirements, while more than a third (36%) outsource £10,000-£100,000. A further quarter outsource £100,000 to £1m annually.
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