Made Smarter Graduates 15 Delegates from Leading Digital Transformation Programme

by Anna

Fifteen delegates successfully completed the ‘Leading Digital Transformation’ programme, a collaborative effort by Made Smarter and Manchester Metropolitan University (Manchester Met). Made Smarter, a government-funded industry-led initiative aimed at promoting technology adoption among SME manufacturers, teamed up with Manchester Met to design and deliver the three-month programme. The initiative equips participants with the tools and knowledge to create tailored digitalization strategies for their businesses.


Combining face-to-face workshops, online webinars, case studies featuring technology in action, and a site visit to Manchester Met’s PrintCity, a 3D additive and digital manufacturing center, the funded programme empowers delegates to harness the potential of digital transformation. Participants gain access to practical tools, as well as support from Made Smarter, including funding opportunities for new technology and specialist advisors.


Among the companies that recently completed the programme are FRC Group, Ajax Equipment, Harten Frameworks, Greer Manufacturing, Logs Direct, BEP Surface Technologies, AV Metals, Rapid 3D Solutions, Playdale Playgrounds, Slater Harrison, Beverston Engineering, Liversidge Windows, CNC Robotics, and Arden Dies.

The initiative, which has been running for the past four years, has supported 75 digital leaders thus far. Leading Digital Transformation is now enrolling for its next cohort of businesses, with the intake set to begin in early September 2023. Manufacturers across the North West are encouraged to register their interest for the upcoming cohort.

Oliver Miller, Industry 4.0 Project Manager at Beverston Engineering, expressed his enthusiasm for the journey the company has undertaken to create a smart factory, with support from Made Smarter. He highlighted the value of engaging with a network of business leaders on a similar path, each contributing unique stories and insights.

Liz Foulds, Finance Director of Logs Direct, acknowledged the positive impact of the leadership programme in accelerating their digitalization and decarbonization journey. She emphasized the need for a digital strategy and roadmap, which the programme and Made Smarter’s support have facilitated.

Donna Edwards, Director of the Made Smarter Adoption Programme in the North West, commended the significance of technology and digital strategy for manufacturers, especially in navigating challenges and seizing opportunities. The mission to cultivate a generation of digital leaders has been fulfilled through the successful graduation of the latest cohort, equipped with fresh ideas and strategies for sustainable growth.

Dr. Ann Mulhaney from the Centre for Enterprise at Manchester Met expressed delight at the positive feedback from the first cohort, affirming their commitment to collaborating with the next group of participants in creating digitally-empowered SME manufacturers, a vision shared with Made Smarter.

Ruth Hailwood, Made Smarter’s Organisation and Workforce Development Specialist Adviser, highlighted the programme’s flexibility, allowing manufacturing leaders to participate while managing their busy schedules. The programme emphasizes strategic planning, identifying key priorities for business growth, and recognizing the potential of digital tools in achieving these objectives.

Since its inception in 2019, Made Smarter has successfully supported 2,500 manufacturers in the North West. The initiative provides expert, impartial technology advice, digital transformation workshops, and support with technology adoption projects to promote technological advancement in SME manufacturing businesses.

The programme is open for application to leaders from SME manufacturing businesses in the North West with fewer than 250 employees and a turnover of less than £50 million or a balance sheet total of less than £43 million.


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