A collaboration between the UK government and industry supporting the adoption of digital technologies, Made Smarter, has released a free downloadable guide showing how manufacturers can meet increased demand around Christmas time using technology.
SME manufacturers working in the food and drink sector are being encouraged to start planning for Christmas time by exploring how technology can help with the seasonal demand. Changing consumer habits towards sustainable products, online shopping and supporting small businesses are all creating opportunities for growth.
Made Smarter has produced a free downloadable guide to help drive adoption of technology. The document, ‘Is digital technology the key to success during busy periods such as Christmas?’ includes topics on how digital tools can help plan production and capacity, oversee the workforce, forecast demand, manage stock levels and optimise picking and automate the packaging process.
The guide also contains case studies of manufacturers who have been supported by Made Smarter who are experiencing the benefits of investing in technology which is helping them to cope with increasing demands during busy periods of time. Seven Bro7hers Brewery based in Salford is investing in automating their packaging line to increase productivity and capacity.
Ye Olde Friars, a chocolate maker in Cumbria, has replaced the manual and time-consuming process of filling moulds with chocolate with automation. As a result, they are able to produce 700% more chocolate and respond quicker to larger orders.
“The festive period is traditionally one of the busiest times of the year for many manufacturers who will also be experiencing tough conditions amid increased energy and materials prices, and supply chain and labour challenges,” explained Donna Edwards, Programme Director for Made Smarter’s North West adoption programme. “For manufacturers the Christmas rush will highlight bottlenecks and other issues with their processes. The Made Smarter team can work with them to identify potential solutions to these challenges and support them to develop an implementation plan to ensure success in 2023.”
Since it was launched in 2018 the programme in North West has supported 2500 manufacturers to start digitalisation by providing them with advice and a digital roadmap to help choose the right approach, investment and tools for their business.
More than 275 have invested in new technology ranging from software and sensors to robotics to increase efficiency, productivity and grow sustainability.
As a result, these manufacturers expect to create 1250 new jobs, upskill almost 2300 existing roles, add UK£176 million to the region and meet its net zero target by 2050.
See the free downloadable guide here.
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