93% of engineering firms are concerned about coronavirus impact, reveals survey

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25th March 2020 07:57 - Engineering

93% of engineering firms are concerned about coronavirus impact: A recent survey of engineering firms has found that the vast majority (93)% are either 'concerned' or 'very concerned' about the impact of COVID-19 on their business over the course of the next six months. 

The survey conducted jointly by the ECA, BESA and SELECT found that in the days leading up to March 20, 6 out of 10 participants (60%) said they were 'very concerned' about the impact the virus might have for business operations. 

Just 1% said that they were not concerned. 

The survey [at the time of publishing this article] had questioned 600 people in the engineering sector, including almost 180 from larger firms. 

The findings of the survey so far reveal that more than half the respondents (51%) have experienced delays and disruption to projects they are already involved in, which increases to 61% among bigger companies.

Future projects are also being affected with more than half reporting they have seen disruption.  As a result, 53% of smaller companies and 71% of larger businesses are looking at making contingency plans. 

When asked about the measures firms were taking already in response to the crisis, cutting down on business travel and allowing home working for employees were the most common answers given, followed by preparing business contingency plans. 

Participants also said they are working on updating contacts and looking at different suppliers, with one in ten firms reporting they have closed down operations at certain offices or sites.

ECA CEO, Steve Bratt said:

“We are actively working with industry bodies and government to represent the concerns and interests of the industry. Key to this is ensuring that the government understands that early, significant and practically useful support is needed to help our industry with cash flow, but also to provide as much certainty as possible.”

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