Skip to main content

Didn’t manage to attend our free diversification workshop? Here is what you missed.

25 May 2018

On Thursday 10th May we ran our first Diversification Workshop. Hosted by Bridge PR Managing Director, Dr. Denise Taylor and Adam Payne from TCMUK, the workshop aimed to introduce manufacturing SMEs to the benefits of market diversification and give practical guidance on improving operational fitness and increasing business growth.

Attendees took a tour of the Manufacturing Technology Centre and were given the opportunity to talk to experts from the MTC and the Centre for Economic Growth.

We thoroughly enjoyed the workshop which was booked to capacity with all thirty places were filled. A wide range of businesses were represented by delegates including software companies and industrial filter manufacturers.

The event kicked off at 08:30am with attendees registering and having the most important meal of the day, breakfast. SME representatives were also given the opportunity to introduce themselves and talk to each other, breaking the ice with a game of people bingo as well as providing important networking opportunities.

The room was then divided into groups and given their own table. Workshop activities started at 09:00am with discussions on marketing for manufacturers. Led by Dr Taylor, these covered two main issues that every manufacturing business needs to understand to market their products successfully. Firstly, profiling customers to produce tailored marketing solutions. Secondly, how manufactures can sell a product to a customer by creating a winning values proposition that differentiated their product from competitors, communicated product relevancy and provided quantified estimates of the products exact value. To help attendees get a feel for profiling, each group was required to choose a business and profile its target market as well as exploring the pains and gains for the customer. To help each group understand the importance of values propositions in real marketing there was a practical exercise which involved asking them to fill out their own values propositions canvas.

After a coffee break, Adam Payne guided attendees through the ins and outs of operational fitness and management. Businesses are a bit like athletes, they need to get fit by becoming stronger and more efficient. Adam Payne showed attendees how they could best improve operational fitness by streamlining management practices, using company resources more efficiently and developing increased resilience to setbacks. Payne put particular emphasis on the relevance of operational fitness to diversification and exploring new markets. The discussions were buttressed by practical exercises which included filling in an operations canvas to identify operational strengths and weakness with a view to maximising diversification. The groups built on their previous work by exploring what operations would be needed to solve the customer pains they identified earlier, in order to able to deliver their newly created values propositions.

At 11:40 the groups then gave short presentations which summarised the results of their activities and the lessons they had learned.

At 12:00 there were presentations from number of organisations who offer help to manufacturing SMEs. Nigel Knapp from the Manufacturing Technology Centre told the group about the business and practical support they offer. Michelle Connor from Economic Growth Solutions talked about the access to funding that SMEs can access based on where they are in the country and Ian McKechnie from Aston University Advanced Services Group informed delegates about the support available for companies looking to servitize their business offerings.

We received very positive feedback from the delegates and are looking forward to running our next workshop. We hope to see you there!

You can get help with customer profiling and values proposition creation by getting in touch with us.

If you need assistance with LEAN manufacturing or operational fitness you can get in touch with Adam at TCMUK.

Back to Blog Listings