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Fast-track leadership programme to create digitally-empowered SMEs

06 March 2023

Made Smarter has launched a new fast-track leadership programme to help SME manufacturers accelerate their digital transformation.

In just three months, the ‘Leading Digital Transformation’ programme aims to turn participants into digitally-informed, empowered leaders, armed with a bespoke digitalisation strategy.

The funded solution has been designed 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 blend of face-to-face workshops, online webinars, case studies and site visits to smart factories, including Print City, MMU’s 3D additive and digital manufacturing hub, where participants will see technology in action.

Leaders will walk away with a set of practical tools, a strategy for digital transformation and an offer to access further support from Made Smarter, including funding for new technology.

The new programme is available by application to manufacturing businesses with less than 250 employees, a turnover less than £36M or balance sheet less than £18M, and a significant part of their operations based in the North West.

Commenting on the programme, Donna Edwards, Director of Made Smarter’s North West Adoption Programme, said: “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. Technology and a digital strategy is important for SME leaders so they are better equipped to deal with current and forthcoming challenges and opportunities. 

"The Made Smarter leadership programme was the first of its kind and developed a generation of digital leaders. We are confident that our new fast-track, funded Leading Digital Transformation programme will have an even greater impact, supporting a new generation of leaders to make the most of opportunities that digital transformation can offer.”

Ruth Hailwood, Made Smarter's Organisation and Workforce Development Specialist Adviser, said: “After four years with our finger on the pulse of manufacturing, Made Smarter understands what SME leaders want and need. 

“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.

“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.”

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

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