Digitalising Manufacturing – the benefits

Well, I have to say it’s been a fascinating two days attending the Digitalising Manufacturing Conference at the Manufacturing Technology Centre in Coventry #MakingDigitalAReality #MTCDigital19.

Really great to understand how the adoption of technology has made real and significant changes to SME Manufacturing businesses up and down the country.

What struck me most was the passion these leaders have for moving their business forward and making sure they take their biggest assets with them on the journey… their people!

There has been much scare mongering in the media over the last year or so that jobs will dissipate and be replaced by #Industry 4.0, #The Fourth Industrial Revolution, #Ind4.0, #AI (Artificial Intelligence), #AR (Augmented Reality), #ML (Machine Learning), #Robotics, #CoBots or whatever else you want to call “using technology to increase productivity”.

What was clear over the course of the conference was that the opposite was in fact the case. Yes; mundane and repetitive tasks that us humans don’t often relish undertaking can be done by using new technology, but actually what has happened is those staff for the most part have been retrained. They are more engaged, doing work that benefits both them and the company.

As Dame Judith Hackitt (Chair at Make UK) so eloquently put it; “Using technology within manufacturing isn’t about replacement of jobs, it’s about improvement of jobs. It’s everyone’s industrial revolution.”

Will Bridgman of Warren Services said pretty much the same “A robot takes the mundane away so you can skill up to a better role.”

Brian Holliday of Siemens gave us another relevant quote (well, quite a few actually) in his presentation which is worthy of leaders consideration; “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go with others.” Throughout the two days these themes prevailed.

The reason I attended this event was because I have many clients in the SME arena that I genuinely believe could capitalise on the funded services or membership of #MakeUK and #MadeSmarter and the technology that is out there right now to help improve current business functions.

The ideas that came out of the conference, the technology (that is far from expensive in some cases), the funding available to ‘de risk’ the cost of implementation and the advice, guidance and support that is on offer is truly astounding.

I want my clients, my future clients and everyone in between to understand that this isn’t just about modern, technically bias businesses utilising manufacturing technology. It’s for ‘all’ businesses; large or small, old or new, heavy manufacturing or modern.

If you are an SME in the North West I’d highly recommend speaking to Donna Edwards who looks after the North West made smarter pilot as she can advise and guide on the things that you can capitalise on in order to make your business more productive, improve on quality output, reduce lead times, be more efficient and ultimately more profitable.

The aim is to build beyond adoption of new manufacturing technology, it’s about longevity and sustainability for UK Manufacturing output. What have you got to lose?

Fascinating stuff and a shout out goes to some of the lovely and interesting people I met that might be able to help each other in some way or other moving forward: @Jemma Shaw, @Thilo Becker, @Rob Taylor, @Chris Heap, @Dave Watson, @Jim Bisset, @Richard France, @Chris Ford, @Lee Wiltshire, @Douglas Woods

With the exception of a few years in IT at the beginning of my career, I’ve worked in recruitment for most of my working life and predominantly within manufacturing. I’ve seen more production and engineering facilities than most, from food and pharmaceutical production right through to injection moulding, to heavy engineering and from global behemoths to 10 man operations.

I love manufacturing and I love our ‘Made in UK’ prestige. It’s our ‘quality mark’ across the globe and I champion this wherever I can. I want my clients (and those that aren’t) to be successful within their respective manufacturing arenas because their success means we maintain our status and growth as a great nation. Being completely honest, my reasons aren’t completely altruistic of course; if the engineering and manufacturing industry grows, so does mine!

We currently stand at £28.5bn for our manufacturing output in the North West and our global export is currently worth over £273bn to the UK economy. We employ 2.7 million employees within manufacturing and are the 9th largest manufacturing nation in the world by output*…… This is why I champion our sector and want the very best for the companies within it!

If you want a chat about what I’ve learnt or how I think this initiative can help your business, give me a call to discuss on 0161 3593111 or 07775 700707. Otherwise, take a look at;,,

*Make UK report Sept19

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