Industry Talk

Regular Industry Development Updates, Opinions and Talking Points relating to Manufacturing, the Supply Chain and Logistics.

UK firms need to invest more in software to stem productivity crisis

Progrex, an expert in software development is warning that businesses aren’t investing enough in systems, which is an issue that is contributing the UK productivity crisis.

The average British worker produces more than 16% less than most of the G7, the group of seven leading economies and experts believe some of this weak productivity can be put down to poor workflow and inefficient systems.

Sharon Xuereb, Business Development Manager from Progrex said: “The reasons for poor productivity in the UK are complex, from a shortage of skilled workers, to firms not exporting enough. However poor management and poor workflow processes play their part. It’s estimated that having poor workflow in the business can cost up to 30% of turnover a year, and has a significant impact on the productivity and growth of companies.”

She added: “In the UK in particular we’ve seen companies under investing in their own workflow systems, often relying on excel spreadsheets and email-based systems, that have organically grown with the business. As companies scale up however these systems just aren’t fit for purpose and have a major impact on the bottom line.

“We’ve developed bespoke systems for clients which have effectively cut the time to process jobs by half or more. For example, for a manufacturing client we developed a customer claim system which cut the time dealing with enquires form 20 minutes per enquiry to five. It really shows the impact that the right systems have, making businesses more efficient with their time, which then has a significant impact on productivity and growth.”

According to Sharon, as the UK gears up for Brexit, this issue of productivity and having systems to cope with potential increased regulation and increasing challenges, will become even more important.

She said: “Brexit is going to create added financial and time pressures for businesses, and it will be vital that they have robust systems in place to help absorb some of this pressure. Firms really need to look at how they manage workflow and assign budgets to improve their systems, both to boost productivity and in preparation for a more challenging environment following Brexit.”

Progrex is a specialist bespoke software developer which works with some of the UK’s leading manufacturing businesses, in particular the food sector, where they have developed innovative new systems to help provide solutions to issues, such as a new software launched called BRC Gap Analysis. An audit tool designed to give a business oversight of issues in order maintain their BRC Food Safety or Packaging Materials standards, meaning their produce is safe and of good quality.

Sharon said: “Every business has multiple demands on their time, it’s not just about providing a service or product, there’s a whole range of things that need to be handled from maintaining certain industry standards or regulations, to handling HR issues, to dealing with cashflow and invoicing. However, by investing in software systems, these demands can be managed more efficiently giving businesses the time to focus of factors like growth, sales opportunities and productivity.”

For more information on Progrex visit