IfM programme helps SMEs

Posted on 13 Apr 2010 by The Manufacturer

A new programme from Cambridge University’s Institute for Manufacturing (IfM) will support small businesses in the West Midlands.

The Manufacturing Business Transformation Service (MBTS) will be carried out by the IfM’s Education and Consultancy Services together with government-funded Business Link West Midlands and the Manufacturing Advisory Service (MAS). It will deliver workshops and one-to-one support, and offer advice to regional companies through manufacturing-themed events.

The programme builds on the IfM success in providing support and advice to companies in the East of England in the past months: 75 firms will work with the Education and Consultancy Services until September, in a bid to increase they competitiveness.

Peter Templeton, head of the IfM ECS, said: “The IfM’s methodologies and tools, which are based on ten years’ research and experience at the IfM, are designed specifically for small and medium-size manufacturers (SMEs) and address the key issues they face.”

The three areas on which the manufacturing leaders and experts invited to participate in the workshops and events will concentrate are prioritization (to help businesses identify and deal with the main issues), formulating strategy and capability assessment and development (which will help SMEs enhance their performance).

Lorraine Holmes, chief executive of Business Link West Midlands, commented: “We are delighted to be working with Cambridge University and MAS to deliver this timely package of support tailored to the specific needs of manufacturing SMEs. They will be able to talk to specialists about their business issues and gain real help and advice from them based on the wealth of knowledge and experience they have gained through research and practical experience.”

The programme is free, but companies need to register through Business Link West Midlands to ensure they are eligible.