Approaching LCR4 START and Support
The LCR4 START team at Liverpool John Moore’s University (LJMU) have worked closely with Machfab Engineering to help them realise the benefits of starting their digital journey and defined an action plan to implement their digital strategy. Machfab Engineering lacked the experience of new technology and digital literacy was low due to the nature of their work. They were aware that they needed to adopt new ways of doing things in order to increase efficiency and develop and strengthen their position in the supply chain. LCR4 START scoped a digital transformation project which would increase communication and connectivity across the business, link back office facilities to the shop floor, integration of sensor technology to gather data and enable monitoring and reporting processes. The ICT infrastructure needed to be upgraded in order to host the new technology and a training programme to upskill the workforce has been developed and will be implemented over the coming months. With support from LCR4 START, Mach Fab was able to de-risk the project by securing funding from Made Smarter.
Machfab Engineering has taken advantage of the COVID 19 pandemic and in the last 3-6 months have made a number of changes, including changing the physical layout of 3 workshops, to become leaner, consume less time and resources and reduce waste. The company has now implemented the majority of the first phase of its digital transformation project.
During COVID-19 breakout, the staff at Machfab were furloughed but the management started early preparations for re-opening and has already introduced new health and safety measures.
Under the lockdown, the production has been working at 20% capacity in order to support essential businesses such as food and pharmaceutical producers. Machfab Engineering is confident that the timing is right to introduce the second phase of the digital transformation project. The post-COVID outlook for the business is good.
“My strategic vision for the company has changed dramatically since I engaged with LCR4 START, having realised the benefits of what digital technology could have on our business. We will now be able to enter new markets and build our reputation in the local area as a leading engineering company, investing in local talent and providing opportunities for our workforce to learn new skills. Thanks to the support from LCR4 START Team at LJMU, I was able to secure funding to de-risk and implement the digital transformation project.”
– Ian Hazlehurst, MD, Machfab Engineering Ltd