Nearly half of respondents (47%) have a formal system for collecting customer feedback and 41% feel that the information gained is very valuable, while a further 28% see this type of information as relatively very important for gaining competitive advantage.
There was a small increase over the year in the percentage of respondents who rely highly or relatively highly on new developments to sustain their businesses, from 58% to 61%.
The companies' own R&D; is still the most likely source of information for new developments, and this has increased over the year from 44% to 49% of respondents. While Business Support agencies, competitors and the media have all fallen back a little as sources, from a total of 34% to 26%, trade fairs and other sources have very slightly increased by 1% in total.
Listed below are extracts from feedback received in Survey BB56 January 2003.
Comments are listed under sector headings.
Views expressed are those of individual panellists and may not represent those of the University.
Production & Manufacturing
We talk to clinicians (our customers) to find out what developments are happening.
The thorny question of the Euro boils down to the exchange rate at which we enter, given the total lack of confidence in our government to ensure that we get the best deal. It appears that appeasement of our European "friends" is more important than our survival as a quality manufacturing economy. I despair at the urgency with which the Europhile members of our government wish to commit us to monetary union, without regard to the effect this will have on business. Perhaps it would be interesting to see the reaction if their remuneration was linked to the success of the UK economy; post entry!!
UK Sales down, Export Sales up. Oct, Nov, Dec 01 vs same period 02 at same turnover. Business gained at the expense of margin.
Q9 Do you have a formal system for the collection of customer feedback?
It is essential we get a system for the collection of feedback from customers
We are told that as soon as a war breaks out with Iraq, the Stock Market should rise somewhat, but I believe the continuing uncertainty in the financial strength of the major powers will have a worse effect on my investments.
Trends information comes from trade organizations
Red tape and tax increases are the current problems
We are a firm of patent and trademark attorneys. Our business is worldwide and we find that local market changes do not have a significant effect on our business. The potential war is having an effect, though, particularly on US exchange rates.
Latter part of year exceeded projected sales forecasts, still holding for Jan 03.
As a Pharmacy, the threat of the deregulation of Pharmacy contracts proposed by the OFT is absolutely disastrous both to our prospects of growth and of also having the finance to innovate the new services we are being urged to provide.
The report has errors of fact.
Q12 To whom or where are you most likely to look for reliable information on developments and trends in your industry/market ?
We get free trade magazines sent through the post. These contain all the news and new products. Only wish I had more time to read them.
We trade direct with the public & not one of them as seen any substantial proof from the government on Iraq's weapons of destruction. Therefore, our customers are very 'nervous' about going to war with a county with 'no substantial proof' on the table. The longer it takes to go to war or not, the more unstable the economy is becoming, it is effecting he retail trade which will filter through every business. More pressure has to be put on the UN. The public need 'other' successful news about the economy to calm their fears and to focus on. It's all doom and gloom!
Over the last 18 months we have witnessed a large decline in manufacturing. This has been due to either moving the manufacturing abroad or relocating the whole company abroad. Long term,(next 5 - 10 years) this will have a dramatic effect on the service industries.
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