Wigan borough manufacturer stars in new advertising campaign

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A real-life manufacturer from Wigan borough is the star of a new advertising campaign to increase technology adoption among businesses in the region.

For The Makers has been launched by the Made Smarter Adoption Programme in the North West, which works with small and medium-sized (SME) manufacturers to help adopt Industry 4.0 technologies and digital skills to help boost productivity, drive sustainable growth and create new jobs.

The ads are being used as livery on 120 buses travelling across the region and will feature on digital billboards at key commuter locations.

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They feature striking photographs and testimonials from "makers” who have already reaped the rewards of Made Smarter since it was launched in 2018.

Llynn Lloyd, boss of Lynn Lloyd Soft FurnishingsLlynn Lloyd, boss of Lynn Lloyd Soft Furnishings
Llynn Lloyd, boss of Lynn Lloyd Soft Furnishings

Together with social media ads, the campaign aims to raise awareness and showcase the impact the government-funded, industry-led programme can have on SMEs who seek support.

Lynn Lloyd Soft Furnishings, a Leigh-based manufacturer of made-to-measure curtains and blinds, worked with Made Smarter to introduce new technology to streamline its manufacturing process.

MD Lynn Lloyd said: “Working with Made Smarter was extremely easy. They gave us fantastic support and understood our needs. They have enabled us to use our time more effectively and increase the effectiveness of our production.

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The Made Smarter advertising campaign takes the busThe Made Smarter advertising campaign takes the bus
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“Investment in a new computer system has streamlined our manufacturing process. We can now track orders quickly and move them through the factory with ease. This has enabled us to expand and take on new contracts. It has fundamentally changed how we operate and deliver to our customers.”

Some 450 manufacturers in Greater Manchester, including more than 30 from Wigan, have so far benefited from support of the Made Smarter’s programme of fully-funded intensive support which includes grants for technology, expert, impartial technology advice, and digital transformation workshops to help take their first steps to transform their business. Meanwhile, businesses have accessed digital technology internships which offer students and graduates paid placements to work on live technology projects, while current and future leaders have also developed the vision and the skills to pursue smarter manufacturing through the Made Smarter Leadership programme.

And 49 in Greater Manchester, including seven in Wigan, have secured in excess of £1.1m matched funding for 63 projects, worth £3.8m after private sector investment, which are forecast to create 264 new jobs, upskill numerous roles, and deliver an additional £44.5m in gross value added (GVA) for the regional economy over the next three years.

These technologies are helping integrate systems, capture and analyse data, and even create simulations of their plants and processes, to drive efficiencies and reduce waste. Other projects have introduced 3D-printing, automation, and robotics to solve business challenges and meet increased demand.

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The For the Makers campaignThe For the Makers campaign
The For the Makers campaign

But given Greater Manchester is home to more than 6,000 manufacturers, employing 110,000 people and generating £8bn of economic output each year, Made Smarter is determined to extend its offer of support to the SME’s in this sector who often struggle to realise industry 4.0 transformation within their companies.

Donna Edwards, programme director for Made Smarter North West, said: “The positive impact that Made Smarter is having on Greater Manchester’s manufacturing businesses has been fantastic to see and we hope to replicate this across the North West.”

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