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Targeting growth through digital transformation

19 October 2020

Four food and drink manufacturers are targeting growth through innovation with the help of a new, streamlined workshop process that aims to speed up digital transformation. 

Hall & Roberts (Provisions), specialist bacon curer and processors in Widnes, Simply Doughnuts, based in Blackburn, Riverbank Catering, based in Kendal, and Shed 1 Distillery, a craft gin producer based in Ulverston, are working with Made Smarter, the movement helping SME manufacturers adopt digital technologies.

All are using a digital transformation workshop – a 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 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 workshops are designed 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 output of the workshop, 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. This 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.

Commenting on the workshops, Donna Edwards, programme director for Made Smarter North West adoption pilot, said: “Upgrading to new technologies can seem like a complex and daunting task. SMEs can miss out on significant improvements to their operations. With a bespoke digital manufacturing roadmap we are able to provide the manufacturers a vision of how to move forward progressively and sustainably. The challenges created by Covid-19 offered us an opportunity to review how we can best help SME manufacturers ensure digital is a key part of their business strategy and take that first step to digital transformation.


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