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UK automotive sector drives consulting use in manufacturing - Source

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London: More use of consulting in the automotive sector has helped drive a 6.8 per cent growth in consulting revenues in the UK's manufacturing sector, leading to a total consulting expenditure of £690m in 2014.

This finding is published in a new report from global consulting market analysts, Source Information Services (Source). The report says that digital technology is now playing a major role in complex manufacturing, thanks in large part to innovations such as the 'connected car', which allows dealerships to maintain better communications with their customers.

Andy Tinlin, Managing Director of Accenture, who was interviewed for the report, said: "The automotive industry in the UK isn't as small as the media would have us believe, and the car makers that do operate here have a fair degree of autonomy, so they're not depending on their head office choosing which consultants to use when and where. It's a very busy consulting market, and we're doing a lot more work here than we did five years ago."

Despite encouraging growth in 2014, the outlook for 2015 varies massively from one manufacturing sub-sector to the next. Pressure on consumer products companies to reduce prices and control costs a result of the fiercely fought supermarket price war -- has led to pressure on spend. However, this frugality has meant work for consultants, with consumer products companies looking for help with cost cutting, efficiency, and the review of product offerings alongside more growth-minded initiatives.

Source also anticipates that aerospace will see some recovery in 2015, thanks in part to the government's recent pledge to invest £100million to boost the UK's manufacturing capability in this sector.

And just as in the automotive industry, the larger manufacturing sector has also had a strong demand for digital solutions, which have progressed from being seen as just a tool to engage with customers to helping with a more transformative agenda in the back office.

Fiona Czerniawska, Director and Founder of Source Information Services commented:"We expect that 2015 will see the continuation of many of these trends. Myriad pressures on manufacturers to increase productivity and cut costs are prompting many clients to explore digital and analytics as tools, playing neatly into the hands of the consulting firm that has the sector expertise to support this."

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