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Resilience Index research commissioned by RS Components finds that manufacturers should focus investment in five areas to build resilience in their plant

London, UK, 25 May 2021:

Independent research commissioned by RS Components (RS), a trading brand of Electrocomponents plc (LSE: ECM), a global omni-channel product and service solutions provider for industrial customers and suppliers, has identified five areas manufacturers should focus investment in to build resilience in their plant for long-term prosperity.

The findings are from the newly created Resilience Index – a comprehensive and unique investigation of six datasets from the past 20 years covering manufacturing investment, productivity, and employment to track resilience across some of the UK’s most prominent industries.

The five key areas senior engineers should focus investment in to safeguard resilience for the future are:

1. Anticipate Shocks – from cyber attacks to changing trends in customer behaviour, using thorough research and analysis.
2. Resist Disruptions – build resistance to disruptions for example, through flood or cyber defences, or relationships with trade unions.
3. Absorb Shocks – this could be through establishing multiple production lines or facilities or adapting product lines or finding substitutes.
4. Invest in Recovery – in the broadest sense, not just IT – such as insurance policies, systems and a culture that enables remote working and other measures to get back to capacity.
5. Innovate for the Future – innovation requires an outward looking, agile company culture – just the kind of attitude that helps to progress the previous four resilience-building investment areas. Investing in transformation, including innovation and R&D is not just about making reactive incremental adaptions, but the proactive creation of new systems, products and, business models to ensure a business continues to be relevant. This type of transformation involves an element of target disruption to grow the business.

Emma Botfield, UK & Ireland Managing Director for RS Components, comments: “The Resilience Index research shows that, while the manufacturing sector is making progress in building its resilience, there is still more to do so it can improve performance, drive growth, and unlock opportunities. By implementing proactive investment strategies in line with those identified, senior engineers can strengthen resilience, overcome challenges, and add productivity value.

“At RS, we’re committed to assisting senior engineers to build resilience. By moving from being a catalogue-based product supplier to a digitally enabled technical solutions provider, we have become more strategic and a more important part of the customer supply chain. Our inventory, procurement and maintenance solutions are an example of how we’re able to help.”

The findings of the Resilience Index also acknowledge the importance of maintaining reliable infrastructure to drive operational resilience. However, the findings highlight that planned investment in manufacturing sector machinery, hardware and software is needed to build the strategic resilience required to meet and exploit emerging market demands.

The research shows that business (plant) investment has been on an upward trajectory within the manufacturing sector since 2009. The Resilience Index reveals that plant investment per hour* has been the biggest driver of gains in manufacturing, increasing by 77% over the past two decades. This is a greater rise than other sectors such as construction, financial & insurance, and agriculture. However, manufacturing investment growth has not been consistent over this period, with its biggest fall occurring after the financial crash of 2009, creating a situation that took five years to rebuild.

As far as manufacturing sub-categories are concerned, the Index shows that chemicals and engineering & vehicles have led the way in investment levels, whilst food production and metals & textiles have lagged behind, investing less than the manufacturing average.

To find out more and get a copy of the Resilience Index: Plant report, visit 

*plant investment per hour = business investment per hour of input based on ONS economic data


Notes to Editors
All Index figures benchmarked against 2016 resilience figures for the whole of the UK economy.
The following data sets have been used in the Resilience Index:
• Plant resilience, indicated by levels of business investment per hour of input based on ONS economic data (
• Process resilience, indicated by levels of output per hour, based on ONS economic data (
• People resilience, indicated by Safety levels, based inversely on annual reductions in rates of fatal and non-fatal accidents, recorded to RIDDOR guidelines by H&SE (; Skills shortages, based inversely on vacancies recorded by the Labour Force Survey (; participation in training, based on rates of training participated in over the last quarter, recorded by the ONS’s Annual Population Survey (
• For each sector and manufacturing subsector, the figures for each indicator were then indexed such that the highest figure of any year of any industry is equal to 100. An average of all the people indicators is taken for each economic category and manufacturing sub-category and reindexed such that the highest score is equal to 100.
• An average of the Plant, Process and People indexes is then calculated for each economic sector and manufacturing sub-sector. The overall UK average of these averages calculated and weighted based on the hours' input of each sector. All figures are then reindexed such that 100 is equal to the UK average for 2016 (the year which adjustments for inflation in "real price" figures are currently based on).

Please note the following adjustments were made to the data:
• The accident reduction index was calculated by first indexing the number of accidents within each sector and manufacturing sub-sector for 2001 to 100. These scores were then inversed so that a reduction indicated an increased index score. These scores were then indexed the highest score across all sectors in all years equalled 100.
• Similarly, vacancy scores were inversed so that a lower number of vacancies is indicated by a higher index score.
• No manufacturing subsector data was available for accidents between 2001-2014, and so was interpolated based on sub-sector trends for 2015-2019 and the manufacturing sector trend for 2001-2014.
• No finance sector data was available for accidents between 2001-2014, and so was interpolated based on finance sector trends for 2015-2019 and the services sector trend for 2001-2014.
• No data was available on training between 2001-2004 and so was estimated based on the average of 2004-2009 data. Training data was based on job type rather than industry type and so industry figures were estimated based on the most typically prevalent job type.
• No manufacturing subsector data was available for vacancies and so the overall manufacturing sector index was used for each.

About RS Components

RS Components is a trading brand of Electrocomponents plc, a global omni-channel provider of product and service solutions for designers, builders and maintainers of industrial equipment and operations. We stock more than 650,000 industrial and electronic products, sourced from over 2,500 leading suppliers, and provide a wide range of product and service solutions to over 1.2 million industrial customers. With operations in 32 countries, we trade through multiple channels and ship c. 60,000 parcels a day.

We support customers across the product life cycle, whether via innovation and technical support at the design phase, improving time to market and productivity at the build phase, or reducing purchasing costs and optimising inventory in the maintenance phase. We offer our customers tailored product and service propositions that are essential for the successful operation of their businesses and help them save time and money.

Electrocomponents plc is listed on the London Stock Exchange and in the year ended 31 March 2021 reported revenue of £2.0 billion. Electrocomponents plc has nine operating brands: RS Components, Allied Electronics & Automation, RS PRO, OKdo, DesignSpark, IESA, Synovos, Needlers and Liscombe.

For more information on RS, please visit the website at

Editorial Contact:
Aakriti Kaushik
PR Manager – UK and Ireland
RS Components 

PR Agency Contact:
Janice Fenton
Account Director
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