UK companies remain positive despite supply chain concerns
In a report conducted by HSBC tohe company reports that over two thirds of UK companies are maintaining positivity when it comes to international trade for the next two years, despite the challenges faced due to COVID-19.
The bank’s latest ‘HSBC Navigator’ report surveyed over 10,000 companies in 39 markets. Of those 10,000, 1,000 were from the UK.
Compared to France and Germany (63%), the report found that 68% of British businesses remain positive about international trade. However, whilst organisations are maintaining positivity the overall trade optimism in the uK is down by 18% compared with 2019. This represents the largest drop in Europe alongside France. Despite this 61% of UK businesses have no plans to stop or reduce trading with existing partners in the next two years.
“It’s encouraging to see that, despite the extremely difficult external environment that we are living through, UK companies have not lost faith in the power of international trade to grow their business. There is understandably concern for the months ahead as we continue to tackle the pandemic and, with just one month to go until the end of the transition period, we’d encourage businesses to take time to understand how their operations could be impacted in January and put contingency plans in place. I am confident the innovation and entrepreneurial spirit of our businesses will carry firms forward with momentum into the next year as they continue to search for growth in markets around the world,” commented Ian Tandy MBE, Head of Trade for HSBC UK.
Other key findings:
- 51% of UK companies expect international trade to become more difficult in 2021, while 16% believe it will become easier
- 90% of business leaders have concerns about their supply chains due to COVID-19 and economic uncertainty
- 31% of UK companies are selecting suppliers based on how effectively the operating country has managed COVID-19
- 28% have increased their use of digital and technology
- 28% are selecting suppliers based on operational resilience and the ability to deliver quickly
“Supply chains have been tested like never before and many business leaders are now understanding the importance of having transparency through each layer of their suppliers. As firms look to 2021, increased resilience and increased usage of technology within supply chains will be of the utmost importance. We’ve seen businesses keen to diversify their suppliers to provide greater geographical contingencies and also incorporate innovative technology into their day-to-day business to streamline operations and help protect them from unpredictable economic uncertainty. These changes will be essential for businesses to thrive and grow in the months and years ahead,” concluded Tandy.
Grupo Espinosa: 70 years of constant evolution
Founded in 1952, Grupo Espinosa has been relentlessly supporting the publishing industry with producing more than 100 million copies every year – whether its books, magazines, catalogues or single-order custom prints. No project is big or small for Grupo Espinosa, as the facility can scale up on demand and their turnaround times are highly competitive. Grupo Espinosa works with on-demand digital press or offset press, in paperback with glued softcover binding, PUR softcover binding, stitched paperback binding, binder’s board, hardcover, saddle stitched, Spiral or Wire-O. Equipped with the experience needed for a product to leave the plant ready for distribution, Grupo Espinosa delivers anywhere inside or outside Mexico. Traditionally starting off as a black and white printing press, Grupo Espinosa has experienced transformation first hand – from colour to digital offset printing. Currently, Grupo Espinosa is also looking at making capital investments into audio books to match with the increasing demand.
So how did a seemingly local operation in Latin America become a world-renowned printing facility trusted by hundreds of clients? As Rogelio Tirado, CFO of Grupo Espinosa for the last six years says “It all comes down to our market experience and our dedication to quality”. With nearly 70 years behind them, and located in Mexico City, Grupo Espinosa has two major locations – one spanning 75,000 square metres and the other about 45,000 square metres. Both locations are controlled by a single ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) system ensuring speed, consistency and quality of work. Tirado says this isn’t their only competitive advantage. He adds “Our competitive advantage is the relationship we have with customers and the trust they put in us with their intellectual property”. Speaking of trust, global publishing giant Macmillan Education exclusively partners with Grupo Espinosa for their Latin America operations, as part of Macmillan’s decentralized hub strategy. Having a facility that offered the full spectrum of service – from storing digital content to printing and distributing – was one of the major requirements for Macmillan, and Grupo Espinosa was recognized as the leading printing hub for providing this 360 infrastructure. Another factor that has led to success for Grupo Espinosa is the absolute focus on quality and time. The staff are committed to providing the best quality in the best possible time, without causing wastage of resources. Sustainability is a huge factor playing into Grupo Espinosa’s operations, and they’ve created a healthy environment with the sustainable use of paper and energy resources as well as keeping their employees – most of them associated with the organisation for over 10 years – happy. He adds, “In order to be truly successful, you need to be good to the environment, employees, suppliers, and your customers. But most importantly, you need to be sustainable, you need to have proper working conditions, pay proper salaries, proper prices for paper, source the paper from sustainable sources, pay your taxes, basically be a good global corporate citizen and that's probably one of the biggest achievements that we have.”