'BRITISH COMPANIES ARE THE MOST PRODUCTIVE IN EUROPE'
Comment on the Poll results.
Respondents voted against the proposition by a large margin, and they were right to do so.
It is sometimes put about that British workers produce as much as their Continental European counterparts - and this is true. What is not mentioned is how long they take to achieve the same production, about 20% more, or 6/7 weeks a year!
Lest we are accused of denigrating British employees, let us say immediately that there are thousands of examples of hugely productive manufacturing and service companies in Britain - just think of Nissan in Sunderland and Honda in Derby. Trouble is - many of these marvellously productive companies are foreign-owned. Of course, there some excellent British owned operations. Rolls-Royce Aero Engines is one example. This company has invested heavily in state-of-the-art engineering and manufacturing facilities which are paying off handsomely. But, readers with a memory may remember that Sir Ralph Robins, a past chairman of Roll, complained bitterly at the grudging attitudes of investors to such heavy long-term investment. Such attitudes make it more difficult for British companies to invest adequately in R&D and associated Capex - so, in the main, they don't.
Pressure groups like the CBI and some politicians claim that a generally lousy performance by British companies is due to government bureaucracy and excessive regulation. This does not explain why foreign companies do so much better than British ones in Britain, in both service and manufacturing industries.
It is generally accepted that the keys to high performance and productivity are tight management and adequate investment, although we do not condone excessive bureaucracy, some of which comes from the habits of the UK Civil Service in 'gold plating' European legislation.
We will not repeat the plethora of statistics that back up our contentions, but interested readers can refer to several sources in this Site:
- 'How are we Doing?' British Statistics, in the Research and Statistics sub-section of the 'Reading and Research' Section.
- "British Companies' Performance - here's a Conundrum, Mr Jones", in the 'Performance' Section.
- "Why the FTSE is the Worst Investment Market in the World for High Technology and Knowledge-based Companies - Research Findings", in the 'Investment and Pensions' Section.