Santander’s approach to today’s manufacturing challenges
Britain’s manufacturing businesses must not let uncertainty prevent them pursuing the best opportunities for growth. They need a strategy that can help them weather the turbulence that could accompany the UK’s departure from the European Union next year, and put them on the path to long-term success.
At present, no one knows what the UK’s future trading relationship with Europe and the rest of the world will look like, whether we are heading for a soft Brexit, with limited disruption to existing trading arrangements and free-trade agreements with major trading partners around the world, or a harder version that involves a greater level of uncertainty and upheaval.
But manufacturers can prepare to deal with all eventualities by taking action now to improve their productivity and efficiency, as well as by looking to expand the number of trading partners they deal with both inside and outside Europe.
Tailoring our support for businesses
At Santander, we are dedicated to helping our manufacturing customers to meet these challenges. Our approach to working with our manufacturing clients – known as Sector/ International / Local – is designed to ensure those companies receive support and guidance that is tailored to their specific demands and requirements – from sector heads experienced in areas such as aerospace, automotive and marine, to global banking links and trade missions, and a UK-wide network of relationship directors.
So how can businesses put themselves in the best position to meet today’s challenges especially when it comes to international trade?
- Take advantage of expertise: Exporting, especially when entering a new market for the first time, can throw up a number of challenges. Business which are able to call on the insight of organisations or individuals who have experience working in specific sectors and regions can give themselves a considerable advantage.
- Get connected: Forging the right connections in target markets can be the difference between success and failure for any export venture. From new customers to agents or legal and financial advisors, businesses which are able to make useful early contacts stand a far greater chance of achieving their goals.
Focus on opportunities
So how does this Sector/ International / Local approach work in practice? Take the marine manufacturing subsector, for example. At the moment, our marine sector head is working alongside businesses and the local relationship team in the South of England – in collaboration with the trade organisation British Marine – to identify exporting opportunities in markets such as the US and Brazil for UK boat builders and suppliers to the leisure and commercial marine industry.
Once opportunities have been identified, we will deliver a tailored programme of connectivity events, including roundtables, virtual missions and trade missions, to provide insight and in-market businesses-to-business meetings often linked to a major trade show.
While this kind of initiative does not exclude firms from other parts of the country, a narrow focus on certain manufacturing hotspots and specific international trading opportunities – and the challenges they can present – means we can offer highly tailored growth support for British businesses.
For UK manufacturers, waiting to see what the post-Brexit trading landscape looks like is not an option. The time to act is now, and Santander’s globally reaching Sector/ International / Local programme can ensure that businesses stand the greatest chance of success.