A Fish Finger distribution system installed by Cox and Plant
Russ Cockburn

Member Article

Manufacturers urged to target ‘Digital Bootcamp’

A West Midlands manufacturer will explain how he has boosted turnover by £700,000 at a ‘Digital Business Bootcamp’ event due to take place in Coventry next week.

The interactive workshop, which is being hosted by the Business Growth Service and UK Trade & Investment (UKTI), will show firms how to combine digital technology and Government support to unlock growth.

Andy Cox, Managing Director at Cox and Plant Products, will highlight how joined up advice and guidance from GrowthAccelerator, the Manufacturing Advisory Service and UKTI has helped his firm emerge from a difficult period with a new marketing strategy, a host of processes and a new approach to export.

The manufacturer of conveying systems for major processing plants has plans to increase sales to £3m within 12 months and ambitious targets to more than double that figure by 2018.

“When things are tough you can sometimes lose sight of the bigger picture and we were very much in survival mode until we tapped into support from the Business Growth Service,” explained Andy, who joined the family-run firm in 1993.

“We had a fantastic Growth Manager in Cherry Lloyd, who immediately understood our business and the potential we had. She brought in different experts along the journey, each one adding something new to our transformation into a growing manufacturer.”

He continued: “We have set ourselves some massive targets and there’s plenty still to do…like launching a series of country specific websites and recruiting a new Business Development Manager.

“I want to share our story so other companies can benefit and this event is a great way of doing just that.”

The ‘Digital Business Bootcamp’ is free of charge and will take place at Coventry’s Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC) on March 4th.

40 delegates are expected to attend the interactive sessions, which will include a keynote address from digital expert Susan Hallam, outlining how firms can stop being a slave to technology and actually exploit it to increase efficiencies and sales.

A number of workshops will follow and the companies can book one-on-one meetings with a number of experts from MAS, GrowthAccelerator and UKTI’s E-Exporter Adviser Steven Hope.

The final element of the day will be a guided tour of the impressive Manufacturing Technology Centre, a high quality environment for the development of cutting edge technologies into manufacturing processes.

Business Growth Services’ Zoe Heather concluded: “This is one of the first joint events we’ve held with UKTI and GrowthAccelerator and the response so far has been fantastic.

“There seems to be a real appetite for digital marketing and how that fits into the other elements of business support you can tap into. The experts on hand understand industry so this really is an event not to be missed.”

The Business Growth Service, launched in December 2014 by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, brings together GrowthAccelerator and the Manufacturing Advisory Service, with additional elements from the Intellectual Property Office (Intellectual Property Audits) and the Design Council (Design Mentoring).

The manufacturing offer is closely aligned with GROW:OffshoreWind and Fit for Nuclear (F4N), the latter delivered by the Nuclear AMRC (NAMRC).

The Business Growth Service also refers SME manufacturers to the right support provided by other agencies, including UK Trade & Investment, Innovate UK (including High Value Manufacturing Catapults), the British Business Bank, local Growth Hubs and UK Export Finance.

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Russ Cockburn .

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