According to the New Zealand Manufacturers and Exporters Association (NZMEA) Survey of Business Conditions, released in April 2017, total manufacturing sales for March grew 2.93 per cent. What’s more is there is potential for even better results from industry for the remainder of 2017, but only if businesses take advantage of this increase now and not later.
The increasingly active manufacturing sector is beginning to work up an appetite for new plant and equipment. The most recent Equipment Demand Index Technology Paving the Way in New Zealand*, has found that on average 13.4 per cent of businesses are looking to implement next-generation technology, up from 7.9 per cent at the beginning of 2017. In comparison with the Australian edition, The Risks and Opportunities to Australia’s Growth, 32.7 per cent of businesses are looking to adopt new technology which is a 12.4 per cent increase from the beginning of the year.
However, as positive as this increase is, this is still only a small percentage of businesses in New Zealand. While the rest of the world continues to adopt Industry 4.0 technology at a higher speed, New Zealand runs the risk of growing at only a fraction of other countries.
If we compare the current Index results with our September 2016 Index where four in 10 businesses stated that they had not considered investing in robotic processes, but were open to learning more about the benefits, shows that it’s not a lack of ambition to invest in this area, but a need for awareness on the subject. After all, businesses cannot invest in something that they are not aware of.
However, since September 2016, businesses have appeared to have become more knowledgeable on emerging technologies, but now it’s time to use that knowledge and start acting on it.
Industry 4.0 is not only an opportunity for New Zealand businesses, but for New Zealand itself. With new technologies coming to the market, businesses can grow, creating new skilled jobs and a chance to put New Zealand on the ‘manufacturing’ map. This is a time for businesses to consider their funding options to ensure they can make the most of this revolution or risk getting left behind. Forget Back to the Future, it will be Back to the Past for them.
NB. The research and publication of the Equipment Demand Index was conducted under Maia Financial’s previous name, Alleasing.