Working on the productivity challenge
The Enterprise Research Centre defined productivity as ‘value added per employee’ or ‘value added per hour worked’ – both measures of labour productivity. The productivity challenge is the growing gap between UK productivity and our key international competitors.
ERCs work shows that the comparative fall in UK productivity varied across sectors. They look at the effects of internal or external factors on productivity. Examples of internal factors would be leadership, management or technology. The external factors could be linked to such things as intra-firm issues, regulatory regimes or market competition.
There is a global focus move to sustainable growth that eliminates climate change. This means we should expect more businesses to produce the same with less input . To our minds this is increasing productivity.
Working on solutions to the Productivity Challenge
We all need to work together to find the solutions. Thomas Jardine & Co are working with various great organisations to find workable answers for family businesses and for the food and drink sector.
For example Be the Business are tackling many of the internal factors that affect productivity. They have some amazing tools to do this which they are delivering alongside other partners. Their cross sector work on Productivity through People with universities like Lancaster University focuses on developing leadership and management skills.
Keep it in the Family
Traditionally business focus has been on expansion and growth. The next generation of family businesses will face a changing world. A world where increasingly it will be about how to make the same with less resources. We know for this, productivity will be key.
Thomas Jardine & Co are also working with family businesses from a variety of business sectors. Together with Be the Business and the Family Business Network we are looking at how the next generation of family business are going to tackle future productivity. Together in November we ran a next generation workshop at Dunsters Farm where we examined what the real pains are that the next generation in family businesses faces. On the day, we looked at what would really help them move their family businesses forward. We will share more of this in a separate post.
Food for thought
Without constantly increasing our productivity in food and drink we will not be able to feed ourselves in the future. This productivity gain has to be done within a sustainable food network beautifully illustrated by the Centre for Food Policy. Thomas Jardine are contributing to the debate on how we achieve this.
We recently submitted our thoughts to Dimbleby’s Future of Food consultation. The consultation will help DEFRA to find direction in a “once in a life time” change to the whole of our food sector. Our submission was informed by our previous work on the food sector.
We have had productive research with the Cumbria LEP which we shared with DEFRAs LEP committee. This work highlighted the pain points the sector was facing as #space #money #communications and #people. As well as our work with the LEP our work on the This is Cumbria project has shown us the pains food businesses face on a day to day basis. Next year we have plans to see where we can take this project next. We will keep you informed on how this progresses.
There was a superb report by the Food and Drink Federation (FDF)that focused on the need to develop home grown talent for our food and drink sector. Without developing this talent we cannot possibly increase our productivity. We would love to support the FDF and further connect their skill development programmes to the work of Be the Businesses productivity challenge. Jacqui is with Be the Business at the CBI Conference in November if anyone from the food sector wants to talk about this.
Future is bright if we think, plan and do
The joy of working with family businesses is that they always thinking about the future. We help family business plan for their future. Most importantly, we then support them as they do what is needed to achieve that plan.
The need to support the food and drink sector is obvious. Increasingly, the need to ensure those around the sector link all their thinking , planning and doing towards supporting sustainable growth of the sector is critical.
Thomas Jardine & Co love to work with family businesses (we are one ourselves) and we are determined to find solutions for our food and drink sector. If you want to work with us then just give us a shout.