Cutting costs and improving processes
Forty-six per cent of those in the manufacturing sector said cost cutting was a top priority, with a further 43 per cent identifying it as a high priority. Figures were almost identical for the retail, wholesale and logistics sector.
The importance placed on cutting costs in these sectors is significantly more higher than that for other priorities within this sector. The next highest ranking for manufacturing, for example, was for the related attribute of "improving productivity", rated by 30 per cent of respondents as a top priority. For the retail, wholesale and logistics sector "gaining a competitive edge" is the next-highest ranking top priority, selected by 34 per cent of respondents.
The importance of cost saving is spread across most sectors. The finance, banking and insurance sector, which ranks third in terms of the proportion of respondents rating cost cutting as a top priority (39 per cent) has a large number of respondents still rating it as a high priority (a further 56 per cent). The two industries with the lowest level of importance, demonstrated by the highest proportion of respondents saying it is a low priority or not on the agenda, are business services (19 per cent) and construction and utilities (17 per cent).
Many companies in the manufacturing sector obviously see improving processes as an important way to cut costs, with 30 per cent indicating this was another top priority. While this figure is slightly less in the retail/wholesale/logistics sector (28 per cent) a high proportion have additionally rated it as a high priority (58 per cent). Manufacturing is more polarised, with 20 per cent of respondents saying it actually was a low priority or not on the agenda, compared to 9 per cent in retail/wholesale/logistics. It's a similar story in the business services sector, with 28 per cent of respondents making process improvement a top priority but 24 per cent saying it was low priority or not on the agenda.