The start of 2020 saw a rising interest in technology adoption among Cumbrian makers. Then lockdown hit.
Surprisingly, this actually drove the curiosity of many rather than derail it. For instance, agricultural machine manufacturer Storth Engineering implemented a robot welder. Its timely arrival, just before the first UK lockdown, allowed the business to continue operating with reduced human intervention whilst welders were self-isolating.
I think it’s a bit of a game of two halves when it comes to digital transformation. Some fear losing their USP in the process. We have one client who is keen for every process to use technology except the handcrafted element. Otherwise, they feel they’ll have nothing differentiating them from any other competitor.
It’s a balance between innovation and heritage. If a business were to completely automate themselves, then it wouldn’t have that Cumbria or Lake District legacy appeal. Some say that the region’s rural nature hinders its digital adoption, but I don’t think that’s the case. There’s a market for both factors to co-exist – you just need to get the mix right. We’ve certainly seen plenty of successful projects prove it…