The Financial Times ‘Manufacturing Barometer’

The Financial Times (FT) run a Manufacturing Barometer - a business survey which measures and highlights the performance of manufacturing across the UK. They started this project a year ago and now have 63 companies signed up. These are companies which are privately owned (or relatively small parts of larger non-UK-owned businesses) and involved with manufacturing in the UK.

Currently there are no chemical companies involved, which given the importance of our sector is something we would like to see altered.  The FT is also keen to widen the scope of the survey and include more aspects of manufacturing to make the sample more representative.

The purpose of this communication is to invite you to consider joining the Manufacturing Barometer survey to ensure the chemical industry is represented, and as a means to increase the profile of your own company and the sector in general.

Further information about the Barometer:

The survey is conducted monthly and an overall Barometer ‘score’ for UK manufacturing published.   Each installment of the barometer is based on the companies' replies to 10 or so questions about trends in their sales and other business indicators. The companies' individual replies are kept confidential.  The overall score is published in a series of features in the FT and on their website. In addition companies are asked to comment (if they wish to) on how they see conditions generally and some of these, with the company’s permission, may be published in the articles that accompany the results from each survey.

A key feature of the barometer is that all the companies in it are named in a section of the ft.com website plus basic details of the business they are in, what they do, and how many people they employ. This is an extra level of transparency which you do not get in completely anonymous surveys. The FT think it is interesting for the reader to see exactly who the companies are who are replying - as opposed to thinking that the replies are from faceless & nameless businesses.

So if you decide to join the Barometer survey you will be asked to do 3 things; the first 2 of which are compulsory and the third is voluntary:

1. Provide some basic details about your company, including what the does, turnover in 2008 and number of employees.  As stated above, these details are published on the ft.com website.
2. Provide answers to the questions sent to you by email – the individual replies are kept confidential.
3. Provide some comments about how you see business conditions.  If you do provide comments these may be made public and attributed to you.  This is voluntary; it's up to you whether you provide the comments or not.

The best way to appreciate how it works is to go to the ft.com website & look up ft.com/barometer or a more direct link for this is : http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/650d94ba-c9f9-11dd-93e5-000077b07658.html  This will give you access to a range of information about the companies and how the scores are worked out.
 
If you want to sign up for the FT feeds, it is free and you can do this from this page.
 
If interested in joining the barometer, please contact:

Peter Marsh
Manufacturing Editor, Financial Times
Peter.Marsh@FT.com