Digital transformation programme seeks city region leaders

Part of the Made Smarter project, the Leadership Programme helps managers and directors of Liverpool city region manufacturers and helps them to digitally transform their businesses. Tony McDonough reports

Made Smarter
Lyn Pitt, from DT&G, who took part in the Leadership Programme


A digital transformation project for Liverpool city region manufacturers is looking for a new cohort of business leaders to take part after 60 managers completed the programme.

Made Smarter’s Leadership Programme takes managers and directors of engineering and manufacturing businesses across the city region and helps them to develop new ways of looking at their businesses.

It encourages them to create a clear strategy to enable the adoption of digital technology, including how that can drive the net zero agenda. It is delivered by Lancaster University Management School, the University of Liverpool and Manchester Metropolitan University.

Made Smarter is a national, Government-backed programme which, since 2019, has worked with more than 1,200 Merseyside and. North West businesses. It supports them to introduce digital tools and technologies to help boost productivity and growth

The leadership programme uses a blend of workshops delivered by academics and experts in digital and leadership. It icludes site visits to SME manufacturers who are already on the journey of adopting digital technology and offers facilitated-learning sessions, and special project ‘sprints’ to test new ideas.

It also uses peer-to-peer coaching to create a trusted network of leaders, many of whom have remained in close contact. Among the businesses to embark on the programme are: Norcott Technologies (Widnes), DT&G (Bromborough), DT Engineering (Widnes), Flexitallic (Ellesmere Port), Gencoa (Liverpool) and Milexa (Liverpool).

With 60 SME leaders now empowered to transform their businesses, manufacturers across the North West are now being encouraged to register their interest for the next two cohort intakes, starting on October 7 and November 10 at Lancaster University.

Donna Edwards, director of the Made Smarter Adoption Programme in the North West, said: “I am delighted that the Leadership Programme has helped create 60 new digital leaders by giving them time out of their business to reflect on the bigger picture.

“They are among hundreds of manufacturers in the region grasping the opportunities offered by Made Smarter. These include expert, impartial technology advice, digital transformation workshops to help take that first step to transform a business, funded digital technology internships, and support with technology adoption projects.

“I would encourage SME manufacturers to make contact with Made Smarter to find out how we can help with leadership development, skills, and how to adopt technology the right way.”

The programme, which takes place over eight months, includes seven workshops led by both academics delivering “leading edge thinking” and business practitioners demonstrating adoption in real business settings.

Registration for the next Leadership Programme is now open. For more information or to apply for your place click here.

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