Made Smarter reaches 250th tech investment

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Made Smarter’s technology adoption programme has reached its 250th investment milestone after partnering with a potato supplier.

Greenhalgh-based Fylde Fresh and Fabulous is the latest business to secure support from the government-funded initiative which has seen the company transform its quality control process, reduce waste and increase profits. It invested £40,000 in replacing a paper-based quality check process with a bespoke ERP solution which uses handheld tablets and real-time visualisation of factory data. This enables quality issues to be effectively identified and communicated, increasing productivity and improving traceability.

CEO, Simon Leaver, said: “The support from Made Smarter has been fantastic. It has accelerated the scale and scope of our investment in technology, which will help our ambition to build an efficient manufacturing environment which produces first class potato products for our customers.

“We are operating in a growing market and employ a valuable team of long-serving employees with a wealth of experience and enthusiasm. By putting data and analytics at the heart of a new smart operating model, we will be able to innovate, grow, and create high value jobs.”

Made Smarter

Launched in 2019, Made Smarter’s aim was to help businesses to digitalise, decarbonise and drive growth. Since its inception, it has supported 275 technology projects worth £18M, including 13M from the businesses themselves.

Manufacturers are forecasting their investments will create almost 1,300 new jobs, up-skill 2,400 existing roles, and deliver an additional £209M in gross value added (GVA) for the North West economy over the next three years. Made Smarter has helped manufacturers adopt technologies which enable them to integrate systems, capture and analyse data, and create simulations of their plants and processes, others are now using 3D-printing, automation and robotics to solve business challenges and meet increased demand.

By adopting cutting-edge technologies, these businesses are benefiting from improved productivity and revenue, increased exports and job creation, an upskilled workforce, lower energy bills, and a reduced carbon footprint.

Commenting on the programme’s achievement, Donna Edwards, director of the North West adoption programme, said: “When we launched the Made Smarter adoption programme four years ago, our ambition was to boost growth, productivity, efficiency and create high value, well paid jobs of the future, as well as play a vital role to help accomplish the UK’s aim of reaching net-zero greenhouse gases by 2050.

“Digital adoption is still rife and robust in the SME sector. It’s been great to see that so many firms have tapped into our expertise to help them select the right approach for their business, how much to invest and which technologies will bring the greatest benefits. 2023 promises to be another busy year for Made Smarter.

“As trailblazers, we are tremendously proud of our achievements working together with the manufacturers we have supported, but now is not the time to rest on our laurels. More challenges lie ahead for manufacturers as they navigate a multitude of demands on their businesses, whilst also trying to keep up with the rapid pace of change.  So, I would encourage any North West manufacturers who are wondering where to go next with technology to help manage their business more efficiently and sustainably to get in touch with the Made Smarter team.”

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