UK manufacturers are much less willing to invest in new technology than their counterparts in the US, research by the University of Plymouth reveals.
The report says UK manufacturers are lagging behind US companies in the adoption of `hard’ technologies such as computer-aided-design, robots and flexible manufacturing systems. While US companies are willing to invest in these areas, British firms are introducing cheaper, `soft’ technologies, such as just in time and total quality management.
Graham Winch, professor of business analysis at the University of Plymouth Business School, said UK companies are losing out to US firms, as these techniques do not compensate for a lack of investment in hard technology.
UK manufacturers are also more focused on making immediate cost gains than in the US, where the main concern is to improve competitiveness.
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