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Headcount cuts force manufacturers to outsource

Reduced staff numbers throughout this year are seeing manufacturers in the UK increasingly look to outsource key services.

Colin Bruder, new managing director at motor industry consultancy Network Automotive, said that manufacturers are having to cope with reduced staff resources while ever greater demands are placed on them.

He said: "Barely a week has gone by this year without a major manufacturer announcing that they are looking to shed hundreds or even thousands of jobs. While these decisions might be made on a different continent, they almost always have an impact on staffing levels in the UK.

"Manufacturers are, effectively, facing demands to provide a greater level of expertise in all kinds of areas while having a lower headcount - and one of the potential solutions is to outsource."

Bruder said that Network had especially noticed an increased demand from manufacturers in recent months for specialist sales and marketing services.

He explained: "One of our areas of expertise is helping manufacturers with specialist sales areas such as Motability, and we have certainly seen a much higher level of interest in this area.

Bruder said Motability was a good example because it is too big a market for most manufacturers to ignore. He said many dealers don’t have the in-house sales and marketing expertise needed to move into the Motibility area.

"In this scenario, outsourcing makes sense. The manufacturer is able to mount an effective sales and marketing campaign at a much reduced cost."

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