In a recent survey conducted by Trelleborg’s engineered fabrics operation, 50% of manufacturers say they have been negatively affected by the economic downturn in their industry. As such, 44% of directors and 36% of technical managers have therefore observed a slower rate of innovation generally, with the majority saying that product development is currently average to dormant in their market.
However, one third of respondents expressed that they believed their organization could be helped to break into new markets by working with a strategic partner. In addition, 59% of technical managers and 33% of directors agreed that by sharing costs and risks with manufacturing support partners, they would be able to develop new products more easily.
Johan Frithiof, General Manager at Trelleborg’s engineered fabrics operation, says: “As our customers face increasing challenges in the industrial environment, we are finding that they are actively seeking innovations that will help them to lower total overall costs and improve performance.
“Our survey points towards a global manufacturing sector that is looking for new ways to innovate and sustain growth. As funding becomes harder to come by and lending gets more constrained, or in the absence of adequate skills, many firms are exploring collaborative opportunities with suppliers. This can help lower financial risk, speed the pace of innovation and open up new markets.”
The company’s engineered fabrics operation surveyed a global audience sample, from markets including, oil and gas, aerospace, industrial, polymer and textile industries, to ascertain trends in innovation. Trelleborg studied the responses for its brand new ‘Inhibitors to Innovation Report’, to comprehend exactly what is effecting corporations and what will allow them to overcome these potential stumbling blocks.