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Programme will fast-track SME leaders for digital transformation

08 March, 2023

The Made Smarter digital adoption scheme has launched a fast-track leadership programme to help SME manufacturers to accelerate their digital transformation. In three months, the programme – called Leading Digital Transformation – aims to turn participants into digitally-informed leaders with bespoke digitalisation strategies.

The programme has been developed jointly by Made Smarter’s North West Adoption Programme, the government-funded industry-led initiative to increase technology adoption among SME manufacturers, and Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU).

It will be delivered through a combination of face-to-face workshops, Webinars, case studies and site visits to smart factories, including Print City, MMU’s 3D additive and digital manufacturing hub.

Participants will be given a set of practical tools, a strategy for digital transformation, and an offer to access further support from Made Smarter, including funding for new technologies.

The programme is open to applicants from manufacturers with fewer than 250 employees, turnovers of less than £36m or balance sheets of under £18m, which have a significant part of their operations based in North West England.

“Manufacturing leaders have endured an incredibly difficult few years, steering a course through the pandemic and facing up to new challenges such as rising energy prices, supply chain disruption and labour shortages,” says Donna Edwards, director of Made Smarter’s North West Adoption Programme. “Technology and a digital strategy is important for SME leaders so they are better equipped to deal with current and forthcoming challenges and opportunities.

“After four years with our finger on the pulse of manufacturing, Made Smarter understands what SME leaders want and need,” adds Ruth Hailwood, Made Smarter's organisation and workforce development specialist adviser. “This programme focuses on strategy and how to identify critical priorities for taking a business forward, as well as highlighting where digital tools can help. It examines the business from the top floor to the shop floor, capturing real perspectives about their readiness for digital transformation.

Digital Transformation leaders (from left): Dr Ann Mulhaney from MMU, Ruth Hailwood from Made Smarter, and Mandy Parkinson also from MMU

“It has been designed to be flexible for manufacturing leaders to fit around their busy schedules, allowing them to take time out of their business to reflect on the bigger picture and share ideas, experiences and opportunities with their peers in manufacturing.”

Mandy Parkinson, director of the Centre for Enterprise at Manchester Metropolitan University, says that “since 2015, we have supported more than 2,000 SMEs in areas including growth, innovation and resilience and we are looking forward to seeing the difference our range of expertise will make to more businesses across the region.”

Registration is now open to join the programme, which starts on 30 March.

Made Smarter:  Twitter  LinkedIn

Manchester Metropolitan University:  Twitter  LinkedIn  Facebook

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