Jeremy Wheatland looks ahead at the forecast for the industrial sector. From the businesses that fared well during the pandemic, to others just turning the corner to recovery, to those at the heart of today’s energy transition — he sees opportunities amongst the challenges of 2022. Digital transformation. Automation. Sustainability. Tune in to hear about the factors that will make all the difference.

Read a transcript of the video below:

My name is Jeremy Wheatland, I'm a partner here at L.E.K. I'm focused on the industrial sector. So what's the outlook for 2022? Well, there's a number of industrial sectors that actually came through the pandemic and would come out of the pandemic quite strongly. Anything associated with repair and maintenance, and building and construction, we'll want to do our houses up now. Anything to do with infrastructure, the government spending lots of money on infrastructure.

Energy transition, clearly a very important part around all government, and also consumer public opinion and moving forward. Businesses exposed to that are doing very well. I think other aspects is that, you know, we are seeing the recovery of those businesses that were actually the hardest hit, for example, aircraft manufacturing. We're seeing, you know, the green shoots of recovery coming out to those as well.

So we see 2022, there's been quite a growth year for many industrial businesses. However, there are still a number of headwinds out there, and clearly inflation is going to create many, many challenges and many, many other challenges out there that businesses will be facing, but there are opportunities. There are a number of factors that industrial businesses have to face.

Automation is going to be very important part of that. Investments in automation is clearly going to have to happen to ensure that we can nearshore some of our supply chains, which historically we have, we've pomade global, and we've seen the impacts of some of those.

Digitalization, the use of digital data, the use of technology, how a company is going to make best use of that. How are they going to see opportunities and that's going to be important, as opposed to this all becoming as a threat.

Energy transition is going to create its own set of challenges. How does the company position itself to ensure that it, again, it seizes an opportunity, not seeing it as a threat to its sort of current existence.

Sustainability is going to be an important factor for all organizations, but in particular for industrial organizations. We've had cop 26, we have had, you know, the public pressure around sustained ESG and sustainability. And we're sort of hearing all of those factors, net zero government strategy. Everything is getting amplified louder and louder, and companies will have to listen. So if I'm going to say one thing, don't hesitate.

Don't hesitate to create a roadmap, taking account of all the different challenges that are out there, whether that be sustainability, whether that be digitalization, whether that be energy transition, or whether that be automation, there's a lot of challenges out there, but really taking the first step to create that road map. And you're going to have to be agile along the way.

You're going to have to adjust your roadmap, but don't hesitate in creating the roadmap because then you'll be able to know which way you want to go forward.

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