It is the intention of this website to look on the posative achievements of the companies featured but it is recognised that there were many aspects of manufacturing industry that were not so posative.
THE WORKING ENVIRONMENT Factories could be dangerous places with lots of heat, noise, hot metal, shouting and bad tempers when things were not going well. In others the work is repetative and tedious so naturally the employees feel they are not valued as they are just part of the machine.
HEALTH AND SAFETY Working conditions have improved beyond recognition in the time since the industrial revolution started in Shropshire There were many industrial accidents and injuries and some injuries only manifested themselves many years later, my grandfather became progressivly more deaf as years went by caused by the noise of the presses in the Alliance Stampings Works where he worked for thirty five years. Many production workers were on their feet all day every day doing hard physical labour and many did not survive to retirement age.
MANAGEMENT AND UNIONS The industrial unrest in the late 1960`s and the 1970`s also made it difficult for local companies when they got caught up with national issues. Bad management, poor supervision and indifferent colleagues together with poor communications, lack of training and insufficient investment were all contributors to the frustration that led to an unsettled working environment and day to day stress for all involved.
MANUFACTURING DECLINE It is beyond the scope of this work to identify the macro economic reasons for the loss of so much productive capacity from the UK in the last twenty years. The fact is that over one million production jobs have gone since 1997, but for a while we held our own and ‘Made In Britain’ stood for quality and ‘Made in Hong Kong’ meant an inferior product.
LOSS OF MAIN DRIVER Most businesses need an energetic driver with vision to take a business idea forward and these people usually get a team around them to implement their ideas. These team members also develop their own ideas and frequently leave to set up their own rival businesses. In family business the failure to plan a management succession is afrequent cause of failure. So after many years of success a company can start to fail when the driver leaves and another takes over.
INTERNAL POLITICS Within each company there were and still are rivalries between sales, design and development, production and finance as they competed to ensure their way prevailed frequently to the cost of the company. In many instances the main function of general management was that of referee.
CONCLUSION Manufacturing now accounts for less than 18% of the UK GDP and for the forseeable future our economy will depend on imported manufactured products.
THE FUTURE IS BLEAK FOR FISHING AND FARMING SO PLEASE BUY BRITISH
NJH 1 st January 2007