Cover image for podcast episode 2 of season 2 of the made to grow podcast. Title - Making Smarter Decisions: Unlocking Growth with Manufacturing Data with guest Simon Coward of Smart Manufacturing Data Hub

Made To Grow S02 E02: Making Smarter Decisions: Unlocking Growth with Manufacturing Data

In the latest episode of “Made to Grow,” we explore the transformative world of the Smart Manufacturing Data Hub (SMDH), a pioneering initiative designed to empower SMEs by unlocking the full potential of their data.

With the digital age demanding more from manufacturers in terms of decision-making and productivity, SMDH is championing innovation – offering tools, resources, and support to navigate the complexities of smart manufacturing.

In this episode, Flowlens founder, Rich Dale talks to Simon Coward, Director of the SMDH about their shared experience of working with SME manufacturers on the verge of transformation. They discuss the power of data, the importance of benchmarking yourself against your industry and Flowlen’s own role as a Lighthouse Project – which will allow them to subside access to their platform and implementation costs for 10 UK manufacturers.

Introducing our guest: Simon Coward

Simon Coward, with his rich background in leading small manufacturing businesses, brings invaluable insights into the sector’s challenges and opportunities.

His expertise in harnessing data to fuel growth and efficiency makes him an ideal guide through the journey of digital transformation in manufacturing. As the director of SMDH, Simon’s vision for the Lighthouse project and his commitment to community and peer learning underline the episode’s focus on collaborative advancement and innovation.

Watch this episode now:

Key Points

  • SMDH’s Mission and Vision: To assist SMEs in leveraging their data for enhanced decision-making and productivity, Simon Coward introduces the Lighthouse project, a catalyst for change and innovation in the manufacturing landscape.
  • Real-World Impact: Through detailed case studies, the tangible benefits of engaging with SMDH, such as improved machine utilisation and reduced downtime, are highlighted, providing listeners with concrete examples of the hub’s value.
  • Recruitment and Participation: The episode underlines the active search for SMEs to join the Flowlens Lighthouse project, emphasising the support available, including expert data analysis and the opportunity to receive subsided access to the Flowlens platform and the implementation service that ensures success.
  • Extensive Support Network: SMDH’s comprehensive resources, from digital readiness tools to online courses, are discussed, emphasising the focus on peer learning and community engagement.
  • Benchmarking for Manufacturing Productivity: The critical role of benchmarking in enhancing UK manufacturing productivity is examined, with insights into how businesses can utilise this tool to identify and bridge performance gaps.
  • Challenges for SME Manufacturers: The common struggle among SMEs to transform data richness into data insights (and actions) underscores the importance of structured data for informed decision-making.
  • Digital Transformation Journey: The support structure SMDH offers, including access to a team of experts and a business development network, is outlined, guiding SMEs on their path to digital maturity.
  • Funding for Manufacturers: Opportunities for funding and participation in rapid demonstrator projects are discussed, shedding light on the pathways available for SMEs to explore and implement digital solutions.

Conclusion and Further Reading

As we wrap up this enlightening episode, the Smart Manufacturing Data Hub emerges as a critical ally for SMEs navigating the digital transformation journey. For those looking to dive deeper into the topics discussed or wishing to connect with Simon Coward, the following resources are available:

  • SMDH Website
  • Simon Coward on LinkedIn: Connect directly with Simon for insights and guidance on smart manufacturing.

To find out more about the Flowlens Lighthouse Project and how you could take one of the 8 remaining places on this subsidised scheme, visit our SMDH Lighthouse Project page.

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