A MIDDLEWICH manufacturer is targeting growth through innovative digital transformation workshops.

Extronics, in Dalton Way, designs and makes explosion-proof equipment for companies that work in high-risk industries, such as oil and gas, chemicals and pharmaceuticals.

The fully funded workshops are tailor made to suit each business and involve online sessions, a diagnostic of the business’s product, services, processes and people.

Working with a Made Smarter digital technical advisers, the company receives recommendations for practical solutions to overcome business challenges.

The workshop will help Extronics to develop a digital transformation strategy tailored to the needs of their business.

This will include an easy-to-use guide for decision-makers with recommended first steps, a technology roadmap and information about how to get further support from the programme such as funding for digital tools.

There will also be a printable wall graphic to share with the wider workforce to bring everyone along on the journey.

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Kevin Smith, Made Smarter technology expert and one of the specialists running the new workshops, said: “The use of technologies is becoming essential in order to cut costs and enhance the customer experience. Without capitalising on digital tools, SME manufacturers risk getting left behind.

“A digital transformation workshop will ultimately help a business gain a competitive advantage.

Winsford Guardian:

Kevin Smith, Made Smarter technology expert

“As advisers we cut through the jargon to provide honest advice to help the business identify the most effective technologies to overcome their operational challenges. We take a holistic view of the business, and demonstrate the steps required in order to achieve a move to digital – it’s a quick way of gaining real, valuable insights.

“We have designed these workshops in a way that requires minimal time investment for manufacturers to turn the actions into results, while still allowing participants to focus on the day-to-day operations of the business.”

The workshop will also identify other ways the Made Smarter programme can support a manufacturer’s transformation.

This will include the trailblazing Made Smarter Leadership Programme delivered in partnership with Lancaster University, that helps develop the skills and confidence to pursue smarter manufacturing.

Fully-funded digital technology internships are also available to help implement projects and bring a fresh perspective and new skills into the business.

Specialist advice about workforce development and skills and funding for new digital tools and technologies such as data and systems integration, robotics and automation, or additive manufacturing can also be arranged.

The new streamlined digital transformation workshops build on the success of the programme’s earlier face-to-face workshops.

Donna Edwards, programme director for Made Smarter North West adoption pilot, said: “Upgrading to new technologies can seem like a complex and daunting task.

"SMEs can miss out on significant improvements to their operations. With a bespoke digital manufacturing roadmap we are able to provide the manufacturers a vision of how to move forward progressively and sustainably.

Winsford Guardian:

Donna Edwards, programme director for Made Smarter North West adoption pilot

“The challenges created by Covid-19 offered us an opportunity to review how we can best help SME manufacturers ensure digital is a key part of their business strategy and take that first step to digital transformation.

“Our face to face workshops were a huge success and have made a substantial difference to many of the region’s makers.

“I am delighted that we have been able to adapt by redesigning and streamlining the workshop process to make it simpler, faster and more effective, and deliver it online.”