United Kingdom


  • Industry: Automotive, Aerospace and Defence, Metals, Mining
  • Type: Press release
  • Date: 07/06/2012

Supply chain risk remains key focus for manufacturers 

  • Near shoring seen as effective route to risk management


Over a third (37 per cent) of manufacturers in Europe* are continuing to focus on the risk, reliability and flexibility in their supply chain – which remains one of their biggest challenges – according to KPMG’s 2012 Global Manufacturing Outlook: Fostering Growth through Innovation**. This is particularly important at a time of increased focus on regulatory issues, as the Bribery Act and the implications of the forthcoming conflict mineral legislation come into play, all of which will have a significant impact on the manufacturing sector.


The other major challenges facing manufacturers in Europe includes uncertainty of demand (45 per cent), followed by price volatility of key cost input (37 per cent) and intense competition and pressure on prices (37 per cent).


Near shoring: effective way to manage risk


The survey also found that the growing trend for “near shoring”  manufacturing facilities closer to end markets was felt by the majority of respondents worldwide to be either an “effective” (43 per cent) or “highly effective” (18 per cent) way of improving  risk management. In addition, just under half (46 per cent) believe that the trend for near shoring will increase in the manufacturing sector over the next 12-24 months.


David Higginson, Risk Consulting Director at KPMG said: “Supply chain risk management continues to be a key issue at board level for manufacturing companies and this survey confirms that many see and are already using near-shoring as a strategy to manage aspects of that risk.  However, in our experience, very few companies have a fully integrated supply chain risk management process addressing all elements of supply chain risk: supplier failure; continuity of supply; counterparty risk and regulatory risk.


“Regulatory risk in the supply chain is a key focus for many organisations in the manufacturing sector: with the implementation of the UK Bribery Act companies are focusing on the importance of assessing third parties for bribery and reputational risk.


“Other aspects of regulation will require an in depth understanding of the supply chain to manage risk eg identifying potential sanctions breaches; and the forthcoming disclosure requirements for SEC registrants for conflict minerals under the Dodd Frank Act.”


Greater focus on innovation


The survey also points to a renewed focus on innovation. The majority (72 percent) of global manufacturers say that the next wave of game-changing innovation for the sector is underway***.


Stephen Cooper, KPMG’s UK head of manufacturing comments: “After several years of focusing on cutting costs, many manufacturers realise that they have to invest in expanding their product and service offerings in order to remain competitive. Historically, periods of recession have been followed by growth but manufacturers don’t simply want to rely on that. Therefore they are taking risks and committing their resources to innovation that may be groundbreaking for the sector and rewarding in the long-term.” 


Globally the survey found that manufacturers worldwide are setting their eyes on the US to drive growth, as global manufacturing leaders believe that the US will account for 43 per cent of sales growth and 41 per cent of profit growth for manufacturers over the next two years, followed by China, India, Brazil and Germany.


The survey also reveals that business confidence among global manufacturing executives is high, with 75 per cent of respondents being optimistic about their business outlook for the next 12 to 24 months.




Notes to editors:


* European countries include: Belgium, Bulgaria, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom.


**About the report:


KPMG’s 2012 Global Manufacturing Outlook: Fostering Growth through Innovation (http://www.kpmg.com/global/en/issuesandinsights/articlespublications/global-manufacturing-outlook/pages/default.aspx) surveyed 241 senior manufacturing executives in February 2012. Respondents represented the aerospace and defence, metals, engineering and industrial products sectors, including industrial conglomerates. Participants represented companies with more than US$1bn in annual revenue; 33 percent hail from organizations with more than US$10bn in revenue. The companies were geographically split among Western Europe (29 percent), North America (23 percent), Asia-Pacific (28 percent), Middle East and Africa (10 percent) and Latin America (10 percent).


***Countries which will account for the majority of top and bottom-line growth over the next two years, respectively, are: US (43; 41 percent); China (30; 27percent); India (22; 21 percent); Brazil (17; 13 percent); and Germany (15; 17 percent);


For further information please contact:


Judith Dow, KPMG Corporate Communications

Tel:  0207 694 8584 Mobile: 07786 197 718 Email: Judith.dow@kpmg.co.uk


KPMG Press Office: 0207 694 8773


About KPMG


KPMG LLP, a UK limited liability partnership, is a subsidiary of KPMG Europe LLP and operates from 22 offices across the UK with over 11,000 partners and staff.  The UK firm recorded a turnover of £1.7 billion in the year ended September 2011. KPMG is a global network of professional firms providing Audit, Tax, and Advisory services. We operate in 152 countries and have 145,000 professionals working in member firms around the world. The independent member firms of the KPMG network are affiliated with KPMG International Cooperative ("KPMG International"), a Swiss entity.  KPMG International provides no client services.