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Firms 'doing everything to keep on competing'.

ALMOST all manufacturers are innovating in what they do, according to a new survey.

The manufacturing employers' organisation EEF has found that 94% of firms in the region are innovating, keeping pace with their peers elsewhere in the UK to make sure they do not fall behind competitors.

The EEF/Vodafone 2015 Innovation Monitor shows that the main focus for North East manufacturers is on improving their products (86%), closely followed by improving their manufacturing processes (83%). However, three quarters of the region's manufacturers (75%) have innovated around improving their organisational methods and systems too. More than six in ten (63%) have innovated to improve their service, while 60% have improved their marketing or distribution methods.

Liz Mayes, North East region director at EEF, said: "Manufacturers continue to forge ahead into new markets at home and abroad, with investment in innovation playing a starring role. However, innovation is a resourcehungry process and manufacturers are finding that the results they achieve do not always match their ambition.

"Shortages of expertise, equipment and finance are holding them back.

"This matters for manufacturing and for the UK because manufacturers are increasingly concerned about falling behind competitors. We've seen year after year that manufacturers want to do more."

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Title Annotation:Business
Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Aug 24, 2015
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