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Why manufacturing supply chains matter and how to revitalise them

Published on February 7th 2023

Supply chains are more than just getting goods from the factory to the customer. Well-functioning supply chains drive economic growth and are critical enablers of innovation and value creation.

But to understand the actual value of supply chains – and the role of industry and government to support them – it is essential to know how they contribute to a broad range of policy goals.

A new report from Cambridge Industrial Innovation Policy, commissioned by the Department for Business and Trade (DBT) (formerly Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS)) Advanced Manufacturing Directorate, aims to improve understanding of supply chains and how they contribute to socio-economic policy outcomes.

The report provides up-to-date evidence and establishes a framework to link different supply chain elements to government objectives, market failures and potential policy interventions.

The report provides:

  • Insight into what supply chains are and why they are essential for achieving key policy outcomes
  • Analysis of the key challenges and opportunities facing UK manufacturing supply chains
  • Concrete examples of how supply chains can be revitalised (drawing on UK and international policy experience)
  • Policy recommendations

By bringing these building blocks together, the report will help inform the strategic rationale for any government intervention seeking to improve supply-chain-related policy outcomes.

Download the report

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The report was written by Carlos López-Gómez, Michele Palladino, and David Leal-Ayala (Cambridge Industrial Innovation Policy). Eoin O’Sullivan provided overall academic guidance. In addition, the report benefited from the advice and analytical inputs from Stephen le Roux, Clare Porter, Sophie Cole, Lawrence Ajibola and Catriona Hughes (Department for Business and Trade).

The report benefited extensively from insights, data and guidance provided by the DBT External Expert Group on Supply Chains. In addition, in-depth discussion sessions with DBT policy and analytical leads provided insights into how supply chains are defined by different stakeholders and the typical issues reported.

Download the report

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