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The Made Smarter programme boosts productivity and growth in SME manufacturing businesses through digital transformation.

A core part of the Made Smarter initiative is the skills and leadership training offered to manufacturing leaders, to enable them to lead the way within their own businesses.

What leading digital transformation courses do Made Smarter offer?

Made Smarter offers two fully funded programmes: Leading Digital Transformation (LDT) and Leading Change for Digital Champions (LCDC).

LDT is delivered over three months in partnership with Manchester Metropolitan University and blends face-to-face workshops with online webinars, case studies and a site visit to PrintCity, the university’s 3D additive and digital manufacturing centre.

What do SME manufacturers say about our courses?

Since last year, the programme has turned 34 delegates into digitally informed, empowered leaders, armed with a bespoke digitalisation strategy.

We asked our latest delegates what they felt was the most important takeaway from the course.

Here’s what they said…




Share your vision and plans with your team

Tim Morgan, Managing Director of the Mountain Trike Company said: “The key learnings from the programme were the importance of sharing your vision and plans, rather than keeping it all inside your head. Collaboration with your team is vital.

“As MD, it is easy to be swamped by urgent tasks. This programme has taught me the importance of taking time away to work on professional development and on strategy for the business.

“I also benefited from listening to my peers on the programme. It was fantastic to hear their stories, challenges and how they went about solving them.”



Engage with your peers

Elsewhere, Janet Sergeant, joint Managing Director of brake linings manufacturer Nutexa Frictions said: “The leadership programme has been well worth the journey.

“Being able to mix with leaders at such a variety of decision-making levels has given me an insight into how digital transformation impacts the whole business.

“Spending three months engaging with peers from manufacturing companies I have also taken away a raft of new ideas which could add value to our business. I am sure as a group we will continue to stay in touch and support each other.”



Show your team the benefits

Davinder Lotay, owner and managing director of Altimex, a fibre optics solutions company said: “This programme has made me realise that change management is complex.

“Also, that a people-centric approach, which uses good communication and transparency, is very important. Demonstrating the benefits to keep your workforce on board is vital.”



An outside view can help you see your business clearer

Andrezej Skrzypkowski, co-founder of Maap Studio Art & Design added: “Through the leadership programme we identified areas of the business where different technologies can drive innovation, enhance efficiency, and create new business opportunities.

“We have made significant changes in our practices and process through the programme. For instance, we’ve integrated AI and digital technology that enhanced our customer-centric approach and sustainability focus.

“This programme has highlighted the importance of digital literacy, an agile mindset, collaborative innovation, strategic planning, and how technology impacts on people. We believe this has given us a better understanding of digital transformation.”



Having Social Responsibility as part of your business plan improves staff engagement

Phillip Ramsdale, Technical Director at Thomas Storey Fabrications said: “Having had the opportunity to step away from my day-to-day responsibilities was incredibly valuable. I encountered a diverse group of inspiring individuals, each with unique perspectives.”

Speaking of a fellow manufacturing business, The Mountain Trike Company, which makes custom-built manual, electric assist and fully electric all terrain outdoor wheelchairs, he added: “Their commitment extends far beyond the product; they're dedicated to genuinely improving lives.

“This interaction prompted me to reflect about our own core values and the reasons why our team members choose to work with us. It's clear that while financial compensation is important, it's the impact of our work that motivates.

“This understanding has led us to initiate new projects. We have established a charity and social committee, and our goal is to approach our work with a sense of higher purpose, more than making a steel fabrication.



To learn more about how Made Smarter can help you transform your manufacturing SME business register here.

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