The UK Gasket & Sealing Association (UKGSA) which has been supporting UK businesses who convert materials into gaskets and seals for over 25 years, launched a Member Survey in March.
Members were asked to share their views about the economy, Brexit and issues effecting their business. Results from the survey, which closed just as coronavirus (COVID-19) was breaking in the UK, are summarised below.
83% of Members have a company turnover of less than £5 million and 61% of Members employ between 6 to 50 people.
During October 2019 to March 2020, investment in plant & machinery, workforce, training, marketing and product development had remained static with 11% declaring a decrease in workforce.
95% of Members export, of which 56% saw an increase in the levels of export activity, despite uncertainty around Brexit.
44% of Members felt Brexit had had a negative impact on their business. Concerns around Brexit primarily relate to import & export issues:
- Increased duty on imported or exported goods
- GBP exchange rate falling
- Unknown tariffs or additional tariffs
- Shipping costs and delays
- Increase in material prices
At the time of the Survey, prior to coronavirus and lock-down measures, 61% of Members were feeling optimistic about the outlook for 2020, 28% were neutral and 11% were pessimistic.
The main challenges Members were facing were:
- Brexit uncertainty
- Reaching clients in a crowded market
- Increases in labour and raw materials
- Low cost and low quality imports from the Far East
- Competitors dropping prices to chase growth in market share
- Consistency in supply chain
- Poor payment performance of customers
- Coronavirus impact
Simon Winfield, chairman of the UKGSA and director of MacLellan Rubber Limited, said: “The survey results make interesting reading and is something we intend to repeat later in the year so we can compare results.
“A lack of confidence in Government policy and communication on what the future looks like is affecting businesses across the UK and organisations such as the UKGSA provide a forum for member to member support, the exchange of information and to share ideas.”
He added: “Now more than ever, companies need to develop strategies and alliances to ensure they maintain a commercial advantage. The UKGSA offers companies the opportunity to network at a high level and develop strategic partnerships with quality focussed, investment-driven businesses in a way they are unlikely to achieve elsewhere.”
For more information about the UKGSA visit: ukgsassociation.co.uk