Opportunity for SMEs to meet with suppliers in Wolverhampton

Manufacturing and engineering businesses in the Midlands have an opportunity to meet with national and regional suppliers at a free event designed to showcase the vast array of supply chain opportunities.

Businesses throughout the region, from Solihull to Shrewsbury, have already signed up to the Digital Technology: The Future of AME Supply Chains to meet with buyers including Hitachi Rail and Midland Metro Alliance and hear more about opportunities connected to Coventry Very Light Rail.

The nationally-acclaimed Made Smarter programme is bringing together industry experts, manufacturers, buyers, technology specialists and exhibitors to Grand Station in Sun Street, Wolverhampton, between 10am and 3pm on Tuesday (April 23).

Hitachi Rail is looking to connect with suppliers in engineering consultancy, facilities, fabrication and welding, and Midland Metro Alliance is aiming to talk to suppliers from a range of services including security, waste, concrete and steel.

Coventry Very Light Rail is aiming to better understand the kinds of suppliers who will be able to supply their sector, and they will be available to speak to throughout the day.

Brian Holliday, the Managing Director of Siemens Digital Industries, Co-Chair of the Made Smarter Commission, and Board member of Make UK, is the keynote speaker at the event, which will be hosted by Rachel Eade MBE.

Rowan Crozier MBE, CEO of Birmingham-based metal stamping and tool specialist Brandauer, is a guest speaker along with Will Kinghorn, the Technology Adoption Specialist at Made Smarter UK, who specialises in robotics and automation.

Other speakers include Dr Mark Swift, Director of SME Engagement at WMG, University of Warwick, Mark Sage, Executive Director of the Augmented Reality for Enterprise Alliance, and Angus Brummitt-Brown, Senior Project Manager at Coventry Very Light Rail.

There will also be two panel sessions featuring Chris Corkan, Region Director – Midlands at Make UK; Sarah Windrum, Future Mobility Cluster Lead at HORIBA MIRA; Dr Richard Fallon, CEO at The Technology Supply Chain; and Paul Edwards, Head of Economic Development and Delivery at the West Midlands Combined Authority.

Brian Holliday said: “Made Smarter West Midlands is playing an instrumental role in helping manufacturing and engineering SMEs to adopt cutting-edge digital technology and transform the region’s supply chains.

“That is vital in ensuring these businesses with so much talent help improve supply chain efficiency and speed up processes to reduce manual errors and have better data to produce their products as efficiently as possible.”

Coventry and Warwickshire Growth Hub leads the Made Smarter West Midlands scheme alongside the Growth Hubs in Worcestershire, The Marches, and Stoke-on-Trent & Staffordshire, on behalf of Business Growth West Midlands, the WMCA and the Department for Business and Trade.

Made Smarter West Midlands helps small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the manufacturing and engineering sectors to access match-funded grants and experts from WMG, at the University of Warwick, and the MTC, to introduce digital technology.

Craig Humphrey, Chief Executive at Coventry and Warwickshire Growth Hub, added: “This event is a perfect opportunity for businesses to find out what they need to do to keep up with advances in digital technology within manufacturing, in order to improve efficiencies and to enable them to supply OEMs and buyers, and to hear about cutting-edge technology from industry leading organisations.

“Our experts from the Made Smarter programme will be attending to highlight how we can help businesses build a digital roadmap and access funding to adopt new technology and capitalise on the benefits of digital transformation which will be instrumental in the short, medium and long-term.”

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