New guide lifts lid on technology benefits

A collaboration between the UK government and industry has produced a guide aimed at demystifying digital technology and helping small companies use innovation to improve customer service and profitability.

Delivered by Made Smarter, the programme helping businesses adopt new technology, the guide is titled ‘Is digital technology the key to success during busy periods such as Christmas?’ and includes topics such as how digital tools can help businesses plan production and capacity, oversee and manage the workforce, forecast demand and inventory needs, manage stock levels and automate the packaging process.

The guide also includes case studies of how manufacturers are reaping the benefits of investing in technology by predicting and managing surges in demand.

Donna Edwards, programme director for Made Smarter’s North West adoption programme, said: “The festive period is traditionally one of the busiest times of the year for many manufacturers who will also be experiencing tough conditions amid increased energy and materials prices, and supply chain and labour challenges.

“Thankfully, there are numerous technologies you can employ to prepare yourself for the seasonal surge, remain competitive, and set yourself up for success all year round.”

Since it was launched in 2018 the adoption programme in the North West has supported 2,500 manufacturers to start their digital journey by providing them with specialist advice and a digital roadmap to help them select the right approach, level of investment and tools for their business.

More than 275 have now invested in new technology to become more efficient, build resilience, increase their productivity and grow sustainably.

As a result, these manufacturers are set to create 1,250 new jobs, upskill almost 2,300 existing roles, and deliver an additional £176m in gross value added to the region.