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Manufacturing Connect provides north-west manufacturing SMEs with the confidence and knowledge to adopt digital technologies to boost their performance and productivity. Manufacturing Connect is a short, intensive scheme to help SMEs quickly build confidence and a clear business case for adopting new digital technologies.

Manufacturing Connect supports SMEs in three key ways:

1. Improving understanding of productivity and where different digital business technologies can make a measurable impact

2. Experiencing examples of successful adoption where common barriers have been overcome, which have led to quantifiable benefits for manufacturing SMEs

3. Building a business case for investment and a practical plan for implementation

Manufacturing Connect can also support SMEs to connect with funding schemes to help investment costs and with high quality, local technology specialists.

Manufacturing Connect has given me a lot of ideas and has filled in several blanks on how we might overcome our problems. Lantex – Bespoke Textile Manufacturer

Whilst the range of digital technologies is proven to have a transformative effect on business performance and productivity, there are some very real and practical barriers which hold many SMEs back from taking the step to adopting:

  • Being confident on the ROI
  • Knowing which technology to select (in a crowded market of options)
  • Managing the change (in practices and mindset)
  • Minimising disruption

These are all real factors which businesses need to address and overcome. The impact on the business of not adopting digital technologies also needs to be given serious consideration.

Manufacturing Connect allows SMEs to experience examples of successful adoption and the overcoming of barriers, together with quantifiable benefits, from other manufacturing SMEs which have been through the process.

The scheme is short, but intensive, and takes approximately five hours to complete over a three-week cycle. Through the process, SMEs will be supported with engaging, learning content using authentic case studies from other manufacturing SMEs. Questions will be asked about the SME throughout to help it reflect on the issues which may be affecting business performance.

Excellent insight into how we can further expand our existing ideas and implement new systems. J Wareing – Steel Framed Building Manufacturer

Who is if for?

  • North-West manufacturing SMEs
  • Employees less than 250
  • Turnover less than £40million
  • Whether you’re already on the path to adopting a new technology or some way from considering any investment, manufacturers from across the region are welcome to connect.

How does it work?

Manufacturing Connect involves a three-stage Adoption Sprint Process:

  1. One-to-one diagnostic with a digital adoption specialist
  2. Enrolment onto the Connect To Grow virtual session
  3. Enrolment onto the Growth Demonstrator virtual session

To apply


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I found it very interesting and very engaging. . . certainly of use, and very enlightening.

W A Cooke

Our Growth Support Service team is here to help

Would you like to find out more about the excellent business support available to you? Or maybe you’d like to find out how we’ve helped over 8,000 businesses since 2013? Contact our team to start your growth conversation.

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