In our latest Spotlight On feature we chat to Kaye Collins, who is Network Support Manager at the Engineering and Manufacturing Network (EMN), working alongside Operations Director Ben Gilhespy.

You’ve recently joined the Engineering and Manufacturing Network to support its continued growth. Tell us more about your role?

Engagement is a key part of what I do, along with supporting Ben on the day to day running of EMN. My role is varied and interesting it includes, dealing with member queries, running events and workshops, working with other business support bodies and networking. I look for real b2b opportunities for our members and help to support their diverse needs.

You bring a wealth of expertise to the job, don’t you?

My background is business development and account management and I’ve worked predominantly in the engineering sector for over 12 years. I’m gradually building the database for EMN which sshould allow us to make better decisions based on the information we have and identify specific openings. It’s working progress.

The network is now the largest of its type in the region isn’t it – what support can be offered to members?

There’s so much support available to businesses, I’m being introduced to new initiates all the time. Broadly speaking it covers finance, training and development, R & D,  innovation, recruitment, legislation and a whole lot more. It’s probably easier to ask our members to discuss their business plans and activity so we can guide and advise on the best way forward. If you run an engineering and manufacturing business, then we pretty much have it covered.

Businesses from all sectors can sign up as a member can’t they?

Yes, the variety within the network allows both market and supply chain connectivity. We work cross-sector and have a broad spectrum of over 300 businesses.  The more member collaboration the stronger the network, our primary goal is to support growth and sustainability.

The engineering and manufacturing sectors are growing rapidly – is that something you’re seeing from EMN members?

We work with some amazing companies and watching their growth journey is always a pleasure. Growth comes at a cost and we are able to support this with our financial and funding partners working with members to give them the information, advice, and solutions best suited to their individual needs.  It’s not always plain sailing, markets fluctuate and change happens we do our best to determine other avenues via de-risking and diversifying, we have a network of support bodies to help our members understand what else is available. Technology and advanced manufacturing tools are enabling businesses to be more productive and efficient, allowing time to free their people to work on growth plans. We have a good framework of organisations on hand to signpost and introduce to our members.