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Manufacturing Community

Welcome from the new Chair

Author: Emily Smith, Finance, HR and H&S Director & Chair of the ICAEW Manufacturing Community advisory group

Published: 16 Nov 2021

The new Chair introduces herself.

Welcome to this edition of the ICAEW Manufacturing Community Newsletter. My name is Emily Smith and I am the new Chair of the Manufacturing Community advisory group, taking over from Johnathan Dudley, who did a wonderful job in leading the group. Having started out my career in practice, I have worked in manufacturing since 2013 and am Director to businesses operating in the electrical manufacturing and sheet metal fabrication industries. It is a real honour to chair the advisory group and hope that, drawing on my own experiences and those of the group, I can lead discussions on hot topics affecting the Manufacturing Community.

The advisory group exists to represent members across all areas of manufacturing, including advisers, and was created to share knowledge with fellow members, providing insight and influence along the way. If you would like to know more or to join a meeting, please do get in touch (email: communities@icaew.com).

Recently we have had two webinars on hot topics for manufacturing. The first looked at grants, funding and R&D tax credits (Grants, funding and R&D tax credits: are you aware of the support available?). In this, our speakers guided you through funding options for growth and innovation and how to track it down.

Then, in October, we were joined by Gary Punter (Sustainability in practice: making money out of manufacturing waste profit) who inspired members to think about waste as a value proposition as he demonstrates how AB Sugar successfully transformed its business by squeezing every last penny out of the sugar making process so that its waste is now used to power thousands of homes, feed animals and grow tomatoes and medicinal cannabis.

We are currently programming events for 2022. If there is topic you would like to hear more about or if you would like to suggest a speaker or take part yourself please do get in touch (email: communities@icaew.com).

So, looking forward, manufacturers are experiencing substantial rises in costs, continued shortages of raw materials and supply issues due to transport problems. This coupled with a lack of skilled labour, high staff turnover and the continued impact of COVID-19 on employee absence levels, the coming months will be a challenge for many of us. However, more positively, demand is high and therefore growth in sales, profits, capital spending and investment in R&D is forecast, which is certainly welcome news after a tough 18 months. We have a way to go on the road to recovery but with the support of accountants and our members, there is certainly reason to be optimistic.

*The views expressed are the author’s and not ICAEW’s.