Engineering is seen as the next big growth area for management consultants, according to a recent survey.
Until recently, the best manufacturing sector for consultants was communications. The aerospace sector, despite its size, is less keen on bringing in outside advice. It also has the lowest projected growth rates for consultants’ fees.
Information technology is still the consultants’ big money earner, accounting for around 40% of fees earned from manufacturing companies.
But manufacturers are increasingly asking consultants to work on non-IT projects. The big growth areas are strategy, business process re-engineering and project management.
Meanwhile, factory gate prices for manufactured goods fell 0.1% in March, a drop of 0.6% since March 1998.
The producer price index – excluding food, drink, petroleum and tobacco – is now at its lowest level since 1996.
The price of materials and fuel was up 0.1% in March, but the long-term trend is still down. Input prices were 4.4% lower than in March 1998.
Export production of passenger cars has overtaken home production in recent years – in March, two thirds of UK-made cars were sent abroad.