Made Smarter: SME manufacturers need strategic tech approach

By Georgia Wilson
Latest Made Smarter report identifies that SME manufacturers need to take a strategic approach in order to capitalise on technology adoption...

In a recent study released by Made Smarter, the company identified that 55% of SME manufacturers don’t include technology in their vision and growth strategy. As a result the company stresses that they will need to take a strategic approach in order to capitalise on technology adoption.

“What is clear from our survey is that manufacturers recognise that digital tools and technology are essential to remain competitive, cut costs, increase growth, and enhance the customer experience, and without capitalising on the opportunities digital technology offers, they risk getting left behind. But it is also clear that too many makers have employed technology without the technical understanding of which areas to focus on first – which leads to disparate, disconnected equipment, and increases the risk of wasted time, money and effort. Whilst digital tools enable opportunities, it’s how we choose to use these that determines their success,” commented Donna Edwards, programme director for the Made Smarter North West pilot.

Key findings from the report:

  • Manufacturers risk wasting time, money and effort if they adopt digital technology without a strategic plan for digital transformation
  • 75% of respondents stated that they have adopted new technology in the last three years, only 12% reported they had never made investments
  • 55% admitted that technology was not a pat of their future vision and growth, this was highest among micro businesses (60%)
  • Core barriers for adopting technology included insufficient capital (50%) and a need for guidance (44%)

“Before implementing technology, makers need to consider whether they have a culture of innovation, the right skill sets, good digital leadership, and the buy-in and support of the team. Then they need to identify the most effective technologies to overcome their operational challenges and create a digital transformation roadmap to help them achieve their goals. It is this holistic approach to digitalisation offered by Made Smarter that will help SME manufacturers move forward progressively and sustainably, and capitalise on the opportunities offered by the Fourth Industrial Revolution,” added Edwards.

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