Almost two thirds of manufacturers use asset finance to fund technology acquisitions, according to Siemens Financial Services.
The study of precision engineering and machine companies found that 63% used asset finance for acquisitions.
Siemens Financial Services said that flexibility of finance to enable faster digitalisation was important to these companies.
The research also showed that while 61% of respondents said competition came mostly from overseas, 67% also expected their export sales to rise over the next five years.
Among the firms surveyed, 80% said they were under pressure to adopt new technology, and 60% assessed a broader range of financing techniques as ‘very important’ or ‘crucial’ to growth and competitive in global markets.
Brian Foster, head of industry finance at Siemens Financial Services, said: “SME manufacturers face a watershed moment, following their larger counterparts on the digitalisation journey.
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“These companies understand the importance of consistently upgrading technology to maintain competitiveness, and it’s clear that demand for alternative financing techniques will continue to increase to help cope with that challenge.”