Business confidence in every UK region has hit its lowest level since 2003, with 18,000 predicted job losses in the manufacturing sector, according to a survey by the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) and Experian, but ‘evolved’ resellers could be placed to avoid the melee.
The research – which covered UK manufacturing – found that the last three months have seen a dip in orders, with the south east and London among the poorest performers.
Last month saw the demise of Time Computers (CRN, 1 August) with 1,500 job losses and the closure of 80 retail outlets. Hewlett-Packard (HP) also announced plans to cut 14,500 jobs worldwide (CRN, 25 July), and IBM said 13,000 jobs would go this year (CRN, 10 May).
“There have been a number of factors for the fall, but mainly a combination of high prices and margins being squeezed,” said Victoria Rance, economist at the CBI.
Sue Richards, managing director of HP reseller EBM, feels that a drop in confidence and job cuts in manufacturing are part of a developing market. “HP was over-staffed and in this low-cost economy you need to realign your business,” she said.
Richards feels the results are just a sign of the times: “An unmanaged reseller needs to be streamlined due to new technology,” she added.
Gary Duke, sales director at VAR LAN2LAN, said: “We are a southern-based reseller and we have achieved 22 per cent growth recently. The market is evolving, and resellers need to turn their back on hardware and become service operators,” he said.
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