UK office equipment and supplies firms are still feeling the impact of the pandemic at the start of 2024 according to a new report.
Using analysis of more than 2,500 firms, Unleashed’s quarterly Manufacturing Health Index found that UK office and equipment supplies manufacturers (with an overall index score of 18 out of 100) were the worst performing out of all sectors towards the end of 2023. The index is calculated using a combination of sales, expenditure and overall efficiency metrics.
In the UK, cosmetics and personal care (98/100) and industrial machinery firms (98/100) topped the rankings for their performance while office equipment and supplies (18/100), food (30/100) and electronics (38/100) registered the lowest scores.
Jarrod Adam, Head of Product at Unleashed, said: “Manufacturers in every industry category were hit by challenges from all directions in 2023 – including high inflation and rising borrowing costs. However, it seems that office equipment and supplies firms have suffered more than most, possibly due to the temporary shift in working patterns following the pandemic now becoming permanent – hitting their performance and profitability.”
He added: “As many as 83% of employers now offer some kind of hybrid working arrangement, and that is likely to have a knock-on effect on demand for office equipment and supplies. Growing companies, for example, may be under less pressure to relocate to new premises or buy new equipment even as their workforce increases because not everyone is in every day. Similarly, employees might have previously decked out their home offices during the pandemic but aren’t yet ready to replace it.”