SME engineering and manufacturing businesses urged to start their digital adventure

SME engineering and manufacturing businesses urged to start their digital adventure

Published: March 9th, 2022

Owners of engineering and manufacturing businesses across the Marches have an exciting opportunity to start their digital adventure – for free.

Whether owners are tech savvy or not, the West Midlands Made Smarter programme has organised a digital awareness event at the University of Warwick to provide support and funding.

The three-hour event at the University’s Radcliffe Training and Conference Centre in Scarman Road, Coventry, will take place between 8.30 and 11.30am on Wednesday, March 30.

The event has been organised by the West Midlands Made Smarter team as part of its £1.9 million scheme to help SMEs in the manufacturing and engineering sectors make the most of new digital technology and equip them for the future.

Following an introduction to the session by Mike Wilson, Chief Automation Officer, MTC, business owners can choose two of four sessions to take part in.

The options are ‘Right Information, Right Place, Right Time’ which focuses on process management software and data systems; ‘Grow costs effectively through increased productivity, improved consistency and health and safety, and robots and automation’; ‘Getting more from existing equipment through overall effectiveness and the Internet of Things’; and ‘Reducing door-to-door time by improving factory layouts, simulation and digital twins’.

West Midlands businesses who have already joined Made Smarter will then talk about how the programme has helped their company on a day-to-day basis through the introduction of digital technology.

Paul Sullivan from Made Smarter will also highlight the benefits of the initiative before an early lunch is available.

Craig Humphrey, Managing Director of Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership (CWLEP) Growth Hub which is leading Made Smarter, said this event was an introduction and demonstration of the benefits of digital transformation for SME owners.

“Whether a company is based in Wednesbury or Warwick, the idea of this event is to introduce owners of SMEs to their digital journey,” he said.

“I can fully understand the fears of those who feel their business is being left behind because they are not sure how digital technology could benefit their operations since they feel they don’t understand enough about it.

“That’s why we have organised this event for busy business owners who want to learn how to adopt digital technology because they know it will make a major difference to their business and their employees – but they are not sure where to start.

“There is no need to feel embarrassed or shy because that is the whole purpose of the session. We will be demonstrating a variety of different technologies that may be of interest and have invited a number of people who have introduced digital technology to their business and have not looked back – they are just normal business people from the West Midlands who took the plunge and have no regrets.

“This is a free event so please register, choose two of the four sessions you are most interested in and it could be the start of a new digital era for your business.” Registrations are open until March 15 at:

The Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership (CWLEP) Growth Hub is leading the one-year Made Smarter scheme with the region’s other Growth Hubs in Greater Birmingham and Solihull, the Black Country, Worcestershire, The Marches, and Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire on behalf of the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

The West Midlands Growth Hubs are working closely with WMCA and their strategic partners Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC) in Coventry and WMG, University of Warwick.

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