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June 20, 2014

Also in the news this week – 20 June 2014

Tackling urban myths about manufacturing

Three-quarters of consumers (74%) wrongly believe that the UK used to manufacture more goods 30 years ago than it does today, according to research by manufacturers' body EEF. It also found that only 36% think manufacturing is growing – despite evidence to the contrary. Terry Scuoler, EEF chief executive, said: "It is time to ditch the urban myth that Britain manufactured more in the eighties than it does today. The reality is that British manufacturing is a huge success story and is going from strength to strength, employing 2.6 million people and accounting for 11% of GDP."

Ofcom service number changes won't reassure customers

This month has seen many UK businesses having to change their service phone numbers from the old non-freephone 08 numbers to new numbers beginning 01, 02 and 03. However, research by ICM commissioned by SOH suggests that the change, required by Ofcom, will fail to reassure consumers. The findings show that consumers are as concerned about using the new 03 numbers as they were when calling the older 08 numbers. 64% said they'd be "very concerned" or "concerned" about calling the 0333 prefix, for instance. Only 39% had the same concerns about dialling the 01 and 02 prefixes (for which the call charges are the same).

17% of firms "don't know' if their website is optimised for mobile

A third of UK businesses are yet to adapt their website to work on mobile devices and a further 17% simply "don't know" whether their website is mobile ready or not. These are the findings of new research by Catalogues 4 Business. Of 300 UK firms polled, 38% said they had undertaken measures to ensure that their website was optimised for mobile use. In addition, less than half (44%) check their website traffic stats at least once a week, while 11% never check their stats.

Companies unprepared for air con gas ban

As the total ban on the use of R22 refrigerant gas in older air conditioning systems approaches in 2015, it emerges that 40% of companies are not prepared for the change in the law. Many companies still use older R22-reliant systems, and have made no plans to make alternative arrangements, according to Of companies with air conditioning, 52% said they've made the change or are in the process of doing so, 40% said they're aware of the need to change but have done nothing yet, and 8% claimed that they're unaware of the R22 phase-out.