MANCHESTER, UK — HMG Paints is one of dozens of SME chemical manufacturers capitalizing on the opportunities that digitization offers through the Made Smarter Adoption Programme in the North West, a collaboration between UK government and industry designed to support the increased use of digital technologies.

The program is helping businesses in the sector increase productivity, achieve sustainable growth, and create new high value jobs through impartial expert technology advice and match funding on technology projects, digital transformation workshops to help manufacturers take their first steps, a leadership program, digital technology internships, and skills development.

Working with Made Smarter, HMG was able to digitalize a time-consuming, paper-based process. This increased capacity and helped the company cope with the surge in demand during the pandemic.

Rebecca Falder, Quality Systems Manager HMG Paints, said, “Made Smarter’s Digital Transformation Workshop process was fantastic. We were able to streamline our thoughts, categorise and prioritise, and create a digital roadmap. It helped us identify our biggest challenge in our dispatch process, and with the right technology investment saved 40% of the time and reduced errors significantly.”

Armed with a digital roadmap, manufacturers can grow progressively and sustainably, avoiding the wasted time, effort and money that comes from adopting technologies in a disparate way. Other chemical manufacturers have benefited from the Made Smarter Leadership Programme, designed to equip SME managers and directors with the strategic view and the skills needed to successfully pursue smarter manufacturing.

Made Smarter is also forging a partnership with the Chemical Industries Association (CIA), the leading national trade association representing chemical and pharmaceutical companies. “At the Chemical Industries Association we have been studying the impact and potential of digitisation for some time, having set out our latest thinking in our Digitisation in the Chemical Industry report. Investment in digital technologies for plants is increasing. However there are several key barriers preventing faster and more widespread adoption and in order to overcome these, we have urged the Government to implement the findings of the Made Smarter review.”

Made Smarter, which has supported businesses to deliver an additional £176 million in gross value added, is now keen to reach more chemical manufacturers and has produced a free guide to help demystify digitalization and drive technology adoption. The downloadable document includes topics such as how digital tools can help tackle key business challenges including: achieving consistent quality, complying with regulations, managing waste and pollution, identifying supply chain trends, and supporting production planning.

To download the free guide, visit