Leaders of a new Sci-Tech Daresbury-based company formed to enable manufacturers’ digital transformation are warning them to digitalise their businesses or risk ruin in the recession predicted for the UK economy.
Tom Dawes, CEO of Fitfactory – newly created from three long-established industrial digitalisation businesses – said that only leaner, fitter and more agile companies will survive the post-lockdown world:
“Even before Covid-19 UK manufacturers were under pressure to improve customer service while maintaining excellent quality, cost and delivery performance. In the new world, only the fittest will survive – and those will be companies that digitalise,” Dawes said.
The recent Make UK/Santander report* highlights that “transitioning to the new normal for manufacturers will entail embracing the wave of change through digitalisation”. The report adds: “Industrial Digital Technologies (IDTs) have the potential to transform our lives and the economy, making it more productive, resilient and sustainable. This sort of resilience will play a role in the manufacturing recovery post COVID-19.”
To help manufacturers start digital transformation and improve their digital productivity, Fitfactory has developed a free diagnostic and road-mapping tool.
The new fitfactory company builds on more than 25 years’ experience digitising manufacturing processes and enabling businesses to improve digital productivity.
It combines the teams, clients and solutions of three existing companies: Tricorn Systems (production control and compliance), DNAsp (technology for metal finishing, NDT and surface engineering companies) and Valuechain Technology (modular smart applications for companies from micro-SMEs to global manufacturers including Bentley Motors, Airbus and BAE Systems).
Dawes added: “Our purpose is to help manufacturers get their operations fitter, which will be critical as we enter a potentially protracted recession. Therefore, by digitalising streamlined and agile processes – supported by real-time business intelligence – they will both survive and be equipped to seize market opportunities, such as major on-shoring initiatives.”
The company is also making a significant investment in a state-of-the-art modular production control system which will launch in Q2 2021. Fitfactory CTO, Michael Schraps, explained: “We’ve seen manufacturers increase their use of digital technologies over recent years, however the lockdown period has rapidly accelerated demand for cloud-based technologies that facilitate remote, collaborative working and enable secure information exchange with customers and suppliers.
“The new Fitfactory platform will combine the most valued features of our existing solutions with integrated business intelligence to transform productivity”
Fitfactory initiatives will also include digital productivity diagnostics, workshops and providing physical fitfactory demonstrator facilities across the country. Together, these platforms will help companies benchmark their current digital capabilities against similar companies, provide a roadmap for the first steps to take on their digital transformation and offer practical hands-on experience of the benefits that a digitally optimised 'Fit' factory can bring to manufacturers.