Manufacturers in Heywood, Middleton and Rochdale target growth through innovation
Date published: 28 September 2020
Michael Pedley, managing director of MSM Aerospace Fabricators
Manufacturers in Heywood, Middleton and Rochdale are targeting growth through Made Smarter’s innovative digital transformation workshops.
Riley & Son (Electromec) Ltd in Heywood, MSM aerospace fabricators in Middleton, Salt Separation Services and Rochdale Production Services in Rochdale are among 51 small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) across the region signed up to the process designed to accelerate manufacturing growth by identifying digital tools and technologies that can maximise operational processes and enhance business growth.
Working with a Made Smarter adviser, the fully-funded workshop, bespoke to individual business needs, involves two online sessions, a two-hour diagnostic of the business’s product, services, processes and people, and a one-hour ‘findings’ presentation to make recommendations for practical solutions to overcome business challenges.
The workshop’s output, together with subsequent sessions with Made Smarter digital technology advisers, are used to develop a digital transformation strategy tailored to the needs of the business.
It will include an easy-to-use guide for decision-makers with recommended first steps, a technology roadmap, and information about how to get further support from the programme such as funding for digital tools.
There will also be a printable wall graphic to share with the wider workforce to bring everyone along on the journey.
The workshop will also identify other ways the Made Smarter programme can support a manufacturer’s transformation including: the trailblazing Made Smarter Leadership Programme delivered in partnership with Lancaster University, that helps develop the skills and confidence to pursue smarter manufacturing; fully-funded digital technology internships to help implement projects and bring a fresh perspective and new skills into the business; specialist advice about workforce development and skills; and funding for new digital tools and technologies such as data and systems integration, robotics and automation, or additive manufacturing.
Kevin Smith, Made Smarter technology expert and one of the specialists running the new workshops, said: “The use of technologies is becoming essential in order to cut costs and enhance the customer experience. Without capitalising on digital tools, small and medium-sized manufacturers risk getting left behind.
“A digital transformation workshop will ultimately help a business gain a competitive advantage.
“As advisers we cut through the jargon to provide honest advice to help the business identify the most effective technologies to overcome their operational challenges. We take a holistic view of the business, and demonstrate the steps required in order to achieve a move to digital – it’s a quick way of gaining real, valuable insights.
“We have designed these workshops in a way that requires minimal time investment for manufacturers to turn the actions into results, while still allowing participants to focus on the day-to-day operations of the business.”
The new streamlined digital transformation workshops build on the success of the programme’s earlier face-to-face workshops, which helped makers during the first 18 months of the North West adoption pilot.
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