Manchester Metropolitan University and The University of Liverpool join Lancaster University in supporting SME manufacturers to gain digital leadership skills to grow their organisation through technology
An innovative leadership programme equipping business leaders with the vision and the skills to pursue smarter manufacturing is being rolled out to leading universities in the North West.
The Made Smarter Leadership Programme, developed in partnership with Lancaster University Management School (LUMS), is a blend of workshops, site visits to SME manufacturers who are already on the journey of adopting digital technology, facilitated-learning sessions, and special project sprints to test new ideas.
With 22 leaders already empowered to transform their individual businesses, Lancaster University is readying for its third intake on October 22, while the University of Liverpool and Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU) will begin delivering the programme on November 4 and 12 respectively.
The roll-out gives more SME leaders, based in Cheshire and Warrington, Cumbria, Greater Manchester, Lancashire and the Liverpool City Region, the opportunity to learn the strategies to support the adoption of hi-tech and digitally-based manufacturing techniques into their own production processes. It also explores organisational culture and how to engage and enthuse employees and other stakeholders about their digital transformation journey.
With social distancing measures likely to stay in place for the foreseeable future, the programme will initially be delivered predominantly online with a view to move to face-to-face workshops when this is safe to implement.
These include seven workshops led by both academics delivering leading edge thinking and business practitioners demonstrating adoption in real business settings.
Through the programme delegates will also embark on ‘sprints’ where they would test their ideas with employees from the business to build engagement and learning from each other.
Site visits will also be conducted virtually, until it is safe to do in-person.
For the Lancaster cohort they include Runcorn-based Hosokawa Micron, a manufacturer and supplier of powder processing systems and equipment which has transformed its production performance through the application of digital technologies, and Veka, a Burnley-based manufacturer of PVCu window systems.
Donna Edwards, director of the Made Smarter North West adoption pilot, said: “The Made Smarter Leadership Programme has been a success story, giving 22 of the region’s leaders the vital tools and insight to accelerate the adoption of advanced digital technologies within their business.
“The roll out of the programme means more SME manufacturers will have the opportunity to take time out of their business to reflect on the bigger picture and share ideas and experiences alongside their peers in manufacturing, and then return to their own business and develop a digital strategy to create growth and efficiencies.”
Professor Angus Laing, Dean of Lancaster University Management School, said: “To secure the roll out of this innovative programme we developed in partnership with Made Smarter further reinforces Lancaster’s outstanding reputation for devising and delivering world-class business leadership development.
“While the way that the programme is taught has changed, with sessions being completed virtually, the feedback from delegates is that the new approach has worked very well. In fact, we hope that the flexibility offered by the new format will encourage more leaders to sign up.”
Registration for the next Leadership Programme is now open. For more information or to apply for your place visit madesmarter.uk