What is your role at Smart Manufacture?
I am one of the Directors at Smart Manufacture
What does Smart Manufacture do?
Smart Manufacture specialises in working with the Manufacturing SME sector to help businesses get overall visibility of their end-to-end operations and to drive improved efficiency. We take a holistic approach by starting with understanding the current processes from the initial sales quote through purchasing, inventory management, production scheduling and right through to invoicing. We then see how we can help the business to streamline and automate their processes through the adoption of cloud-based software in the areas of CRM, ERP and Compliance Management. The latter is associated with the other side of our business, Smart Quality, which is a specialist ISO consultancy which helps companies attain and maintain ISO certifications and with managing their wider QHSE compliance activities.
What gets you out of bed in a morning?
I am a very driven individual which has come from my upbringing having 2 parents who both worked their way up in their respective careers. I followed suit, starting my career in the corporate market as a secretary and then getting into marketing and progressing to sales management positions looking after multinational companies including Oil and Gas majors like BP. Having spent many years in the corporate market, I have seen the value of having robust systems and processes in place and cloud-based communication and productivity tools. I now enjoy being able to share my experiences with the SME sector, and to focus on how I can help make a difference to a business in terms of enabling them to improve efficiency, reduce costs, and to scale up to address new markets/customers.
What makes Smart Manufacture different?
Whilst meeting with manufacturing businesses, other consultancies and with manufacturing associations up and down the UK, I frequently get told “oh you are very different – haven’t come across anyone quite like Smart Manufacture – we either know manufacturing consultants or software companies”. I believe our approach is different in that we start every engagement with a focus on learning about the business, its challenges and its goals and then to explore if and how we can help it move forward through streamlining and automating processes through a range of what we consider to be best of breed software, which has been designed to address the SME market from both a usability and cost perspective. All our software implementation projects start with an initial process mapping exercise so that we can ensure that the software will deliver the maximum return to the business based around delivery of key KPIs.
What are the businesses greatest strength?
I would say the passion of our people for helping educate manufacturing SMEs on the value that digital technologies can bring to their business and to work side by side with their management and operational teams to support them through a successful roll-out which delivers tangible business outcomes.
What are your primary markets / sectors?
Our primary market is the UK manufacturing SME sector; working with manufacturing companies across all sub-sectors including aerospace and defence, automotive, chemical, composites, electronics and high tech, fabrication, lighting, medical, precision-engineering, plastics and wholesale and distribution. By way of examples, we recently completed an ERP project on the MRPeasy ERP platform with a fencing manufacturer and we are currently working on another MRPeasy project with a cosmetics manufacturer.
Do you have growth plans for the future?
Fortunately, COVID has actually been an accelerator for our business as we have found manufacturing SMEs have recognised that they need to do things differently if they are going to survive in the increasingly competitive markets in which they operate. Running a business from paper-based manual systems or disparate excel spreadsheets in the factory is holding companies back; Cloud-based software which is accessible to all employees whether they are working in the office, the factory, at home or from any location, enables collaboration across functions and provides an invaluable 360-degree real-time view of what’s going on end to end across the business. But many manufacturing SMEs are still intimidated by IT and digital systems and are therefore looking for hands-on practical cost-effective support from people who importantly have knowledge and experience of working in the sector, as well as understand how to present and deliver the relevant technologies for their business. Over the last few months, we have been busy delivering projects as well as receiving new enquiries, many coming from referrals from other manufacturing companies and associations. Going forward we only see this trend continuing and as a result will be looking to extend our experienced consultant network so that we can continue to meet the growing requirements from the sector for the services we offer.