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Manufacturers urged to turn seasonal pain into empowerment

SME manufacturers struggling with the ‘seasonal surge’ can start planning for next Christmas by exploring how digital technology can boost performance in a new guide from Made Smarter.

While production is in full swing to meet demand for the festive season, manufacturers are facing a multitude of challenges, including rising energy prices, supply chain disruption and labour shortages.

However, changing consumer habits towards more sustainable products, online shopping and supporting small businesses are also creating opportunities for growth.

To help manufacturers seize on these opportunities and start planning for the future, the popular Made Smarter initiative has published a free downloadable guide to demystify digitalisation and drive technology adoption.

The guide includes topics such as how digital tools can help to plan production and capacity, oversee and manage the workforce, forecast demand and inventory needs, manage stock levels and optimise picking, and automate the packaging process.

Donna Edwards, Programme Director for Made Smarter North West, said:

“The festive period is traditionally one of the busiest times of the year for many manufacturers who will also be experiencing tough conditions amid increased energy and materials prices, and supply chain and labour challenges.

“Thankfully, there are numerous technologies you can employ to prepare yourself for the seasonal surge, remain competitive, and set yourself up for success all year round.”

The guide also features case studies of Made Smarter-supported manufacturers who are using technology to help them cope with demand during busy periods.

Examples include a new automated packaging line at a Salford-based brewery and online order software that automatically generates a pick list for stockroom operators at a Liverpool-based glass maker.

Made Smarter has supported 2,500 manufacturers across the North West to date. For more information on the programme visit


Our Manufacturing Service is an ideal stepping-stone for preparing for the opportunities and challenges of digitalisation. Speak to one of our specialist advisors to learn more.

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