Noticing the impact of economic challenge
Estimated reading time 3 minutesHere at Pentagon, we are well versed at delivering the positives surrounding UK manufacture and our business. We don’t often (like many people) talk about the struggles and challenges we face. There is undeniably a heavy grey cloud over the rapidly shrinking UK economy just now, a culminating haze of Post COVID, Post Brexit, impacts of war, increased inflation, rising cost of living, lack of employment resource. This weighted mix of issues is enough to make the most grounded of people feel a little heady! It would be wrong not to acknowledge the multitude of businesses where the lasting effects post COVID proved too much to bear, and they have had to cease trading. It would also be wrong to say that we are sailing through the challenging economic landscape that we all now must navigate. The tooling arm of our business is buoyant just now, manufacturing tooling for customers with their own moulding facilities but as anyone in the business knows tool manufacture is often feast or famine. Production however is notably quiet with order books currently looking lighter than we would like over the coming months. Indeed, this could all change at the drop of a hat but just now the remainder of the year looks quiet compared to past years (even compared to COVID years!). Although customer communication is still flowing freely demand for production has certainly dropped rapidly in recent months. As with any Supplier you are only ever as busy as your customers and given the expanse of industries that we serve shows how far reaching the economic quell is reaching. No one sector is stand out busy compared to another and where new projects are being quoted price is key to being able to get a project over the line to order, but with the cost of raw materials continuing to rise at pace and lead times becoming longer and longer there is little we can do not to pass these rising costs on to our customers. Even the powerful negotiation skills of our group buyer are making little movement on costs! Anyone who has worked for Pentagon will know that we are very forthcoming with cost saving suggestions for both mould tooling solutions by way of ease of manufacture and component design, looking at ways to take out some of the material cost throughout production. Our level of customer support is something that we pride ourselves on. The continually rising costs across both personal and business activities is changing our business outlook and making us more cautious about where businesses funds are best spent. While ensuring overheads and essential materials for manufacture continue to be met, we are taking a more cautious approach to spend in other areas of the business. We have always operated under measured and considered spend, but just now the reigns must be held a little tighter as we ride out this turbulent economic storm whilst still maintaining investment in the right areas to support growth. Although current times are indeed proving a challenge on both personal and business levels, we remain safe in the knowledge that we are continually in a state of flux. We know that the landscape will inevitably continue to change but whether it is for the better or delivers further challenge for society remains to be seen. Let’s not pretend we are operating in a pre-COVID world and that everything is going fine, lets open honest conversation and put our hand up and say it’s a rough ride in business just now.